The U.S. women’s soccer team said Friday it will wear Black Lives Matter-themed warm-ups ahead of their match against the Netherlands in the two teams’ 2019 World Cup final rematch.
The team said in a video posted to social media that the move was “not political” rather they were trying to shed light on “human rights.”
Crystal Dunn also released a statement specifically spelling out the team’s cause.
“We love our country, and it is a true honor to represent America. It is also our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms that our country was founded on extend to everyone,” the statement read.
“Today, we wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency. We protest against racial injustice and police brutality against Black people. We protest against the racist infrastructures that do not provide equal opportunity for black and brown people to fulfill their dreams, including playing on this team.
“As the United States Women’s National team players, we collectively work toward a society where the American ideas are upheld, and Black lives are no longer systematically targeted.
“Black Lives Matter.”
It’s the first match the U.S. women’s team has played in more than 200 days. The coronavirus pandemic put a hold on much of their international schedule.
The U.S. women’s national team’s statement comes weeks after the men’s team also had social justice statements on their warm-ups as well.
The U.S. women’s soccer team and the U.S. Soccer Federation had been at odds with player protests in the past. The federation issued a rule that players must stand for the national anthem after Megan Rapinoe became the first athlete outside of football to protest during the anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.