Naomi Girma why we don’t sing the National Anthem

Naomi Girma why we don't sing the National Anthem

The U.S. Women’s Soccer team have found themselves in the middle of controversy after a game over the weekend, and now, player Naomi Girma is speaking out on the situation.

During the team’s recent Women’s World Cup game against Vietnam, fans noticed that most of the players on the USWNT didn’t sing along with the “Star-Spangled Banner,” prompting several raised eyebrows about why.


“Most of the U.S. Women’s soccer players refused to sing our great national anthem. What. A. Disgrace.” one Twitter user wrote alongside the video, even comparing the US team with the opposing Portuguese team.

Now, Girma is defending herself and her teammates’ choice, giving a short explanation as to why she doesn’t necessarily feel inclined to sing the National Anthem when prompted. “I think when we’re out there, we’re preparing for the game. And that isn’t the focus,” Girma said, per Just Women’s Sports. “Ultimately, every player has the choice. I think that’s what I would say.”

Naomi Girma why we don't sing the National Anthem
Naomi Girma why we don’t sing the National Anthem

And it’s not the first time a pro soccer player on the U.S. Women’s team has taken a stand on the matter.

Ahead of the 2019 World Cup, USWNT stalwart Megan Rapinoe made it clear that she was likely done singing the National Anthem at that point.

“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” she said at the time, doubling down by adding, “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”


Rapinoe first protested the anthem in 2016, standing in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his bold display of kneeling during the tune’s presentation.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” he said when the movement began, per The Washington Post. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”


Although the U.S. Soccer League released a statement in 2017 following Rapinoe’s act that said, in no uncertain terms, players are expected to stand during the playing of the anthem, that policy has since officially been repealed.


In 2020, as Black Lives Matter protests raged in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, the organization, in fact, issued an opposing statement: “It should be, and will be going forward, up to our players to determine how they can best use their platforms to fight all forms of racism, discrimination, and inequality,” U.S. Soccer communicated, in part.

It added: “We are here for our players and are ready to support them in elevating their efforts to achieve social justice. We cannot change the past, but we can make a difference in the future. We are committed to this change effort, and we will be implementing supporting actions in the near future.”


There is no longer a U.S. Soccer policy mandating conduct during the National Anthem. Both the U.S. Women’s and Men’s national teams’ athletes are free to do as they please.

The topic has long been a subject of contention as it pertains to American politics, with anyone taking an opposing stance to participate in such activities—for example, standing, singing along, placing a hand over the heart, or removing headwear—often coming under fire for their personal decisions.


While commenting, a retired soldier. Williams said;

”I retired from the military and spent two combat tours. I never sing the national anthem. I still stand at attention and put my hand over my heart, and generally I get choked up, but I never sing. I wouldn’t dishonor the national anthem with my singing voice.

But Francis said, ”William, thank you for your service. It is not that they did not sing it many don’t . BUT the reason they are being criticized is that they refused to put their hands over their hearts and have also done other things showing disrespect. One can respect the anthem and our flag and country without singing as many of us cannot hold a tune…but still we stand at attention, hands over heart and we honor that anthem, that flag and this country. As far as I am concern this team does not represent the USA and this team is a disgrace and an embarrassment.”

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