The United States Women’s National soccer team suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Sweden at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday after taking a knee for Black Lives Matter before the game started. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) relaxed a ban on such political protests at this year’s games.
This was the third update within 18 months of Olympic guidelines for allowing athletes to express their opinions within the event arena.
Athletes may not protest on the medal stand. However, they can protest during the introduction of an athlete or team or after leaving the “call room” or similar area.
And, athletes would still face disciplinary action if their gesture is “targeted, directly or indirectly, against people, countries, organizations,” or is disruptive, the IOC said.
U.S. Women’s Soccer’s Humiliating Defeat
The loss was a shock for the American team ending a 44-match winning streak for them. The stakes are even higher now for the next two games against New Zealand and Australia respectively.
“We got our asses kicked, didn’t we? I thought we were a little tight, a little nervous, just doing dumb stuff,” said the “woke” American soccer star Megan Rapinoe, according to NBC Sports .
The U.S. women’s soccer team was stunned by Sweden, losing 3-0, in its opening match of the 2020 Olympic Games.
The loss by the USWNT snapped a 44-match unbeaten streak. pic.twitter.com/7FoZ7WNP7W 
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 21, 2021 
Players Take A Knee
Unlike in sports like the NFL, where players kneel during the national anthem, in soccer it happens just before kickoff. And, that’s exactly what happened .
Players from both the American and Swedish soccer teams took a knee  before the start of the match.
“For us it really feels right to stand up for human rights,” explained Swedish defender Amanda Ilestedt. “It was a communication with the U.S. team before, so for us it feels good to do that and it is something we stand for as a team.”
The women’s soccer teams representing Great Britain and Chile also took a knee before their game.
Team GB and Chile take the knee 🧎♀️ pic.twitter.com/iqw3kXizN1 
— Hedonist (@The_Hedonist_6) July 21, 2021 
Team GB captain Steph Houghton said afterwards that her team took a knee because they had promised to do so before the start of the Olympics.
“Taking the knee was something we spoke about as a group. We feel so strongly and we want to show we’re united,” she said. “We want to fight all forms of discrimination and as a group of women we wanted to kneel against it.”
“It was a proud moment because the Chile players took the knee too to show how united we are as sport,” she added.
Not everyone is on board with the American team kneeling, but the players didn’t have to contend with fan backlash from the stands because they were playing in front of empty stadiums. The stadium sits about 49,000. The official start of the summer Olympics is Friday, July 23.
I wanted to watch the Olympics, but I just heard that the American soccer team all knelt during our National Anthem!! HOW DISGUSTING! THAT DOES IT FOR ME, NOT WATCHING ANY OF IT.
— susan farrell (@sueq313) July 21, 2021 
Other Teams Protest As Well
While New Zealand’s soccer team took a knee before their game, their opponents representing Australia declined to do so. Instead, they held up the country’s indigenous flag while posing for an official photo before their match.
Taking a knee is a form of protest against racial inequality that was popularized by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in 2016. It has now spread around the globe like wildfire.
Gone are the days when sports were a form of escapism from politics and the other evils of the world.
These days, it’s virtually impossible to enjoy any kind of sporting event without being lectured to about liberal politics by “woke” overpaid athletes.
It’s a shame the IOC is allowing this to take place at the Olympics.