WATCH: Soccer Players Pledge Take a Knee, Pledge Allegiance to BLM

OPINION: The National Women’s Soccer League opened the Challenge Cup tournament by disrespecting the National Anthem and the American flag.

Players for the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage disgraced themselves, their families and the sport of soccer by dropping to a knee during a performance of the national anthem.

“We took a knee today to protest racial injustice, police brutality and systemic racism against Black people and people of color in America. We love our country and we have taken this opportunity to hold it to a higher standard. It is our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms this nation was founded upon are extended to everyone,” the Thorns and Courage said in a joint statement released before the game.

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All of the players took and knee. They also wore t-shirts representing “Black Lives Matter.”

In a later match only a handful of Chicago and Washington players remained standing. Among those who took a knee was Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke.

“I’m grateful for everything this country has given me, but I feel the need to support the Black Lives Matter movement because I know this privilege isn’t the same for everyone. This is just the start. There is much more work to be done,” Burke told ESPN.

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