Gaetz Bill Would Punish US Soccer Players For Kneeling

Yahoo Sports reports:

Congressman Matt Gaetz announced a bill Friday that would force U.S. Soccer players to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Gaetz, who represents Florida, floated the legislation after the United States Soccer Federation earlier this week repealed its 2017 requirement that players stand for the song.

“I don’t like soccer enough, for the US to even have a soccer team, if that soccer team is going to disrespect our anthem and our flag,” Gaetz said in a rambling statement released by his office.

“It is not like some essential thing that we have to have, if latched to the US Soccer Team is this sense of such extreme wokeness that we cannot be proud of the United States while wearing the uniform of the United States.

Forbes reports:

The measure would violate FIFA’s ban on third-party interference in the business of national federations. This, as Anne Peterson of the Associated Press points out, would be especially problematic given the United States is set to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada.

While we don’t know the specifics of the bill, which are scheduled to be released on Saturday evening, it seems likely to clash with the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment.

As a non-profit employer, the U.S. Soccer Federation had the right to restrict the speech of its employees, which includes kneeling during the national anthem as symbolic speech. That’s different than the legislature using its power to make laws requiring that the U.S. Soccer Federation restrict its employees speech.

From that rambling statement:

“Today the news has me triggered,” Gaetz says, “The US Soccer Board of Directors voted yesterday to repeal Policy 604-1, which required our players to stand during the national anthem.”

“I just could not believe this when I saw it. This is the US National Soccer Team, making the decision that the soccer players who play underneath our flag, do not have to stand for it, as it is being presented.”

Gaetz is expected to announce details of the legislation Saturday on Judge Jeanine’s television show, “Justice with Judge Jeanine” Saturday, June 13th, at 9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT on FOX News.