U.S Women’s Soccer Team Loses at Olympic Opener After Kneeling for BLM

The U.S. Women’s soccer team took a knee Wednesday to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Shortly thereafter, they lost their 44-game winning streak, their first time losing a game in two years, to Sweden. 

Indeed, all 22 American players took a knee before the game to show their support for BLM. 

According to The Hill, this display was the first demonstration at the Games following the International Olympic Committee’s updated guidance on acceptable forms of protest. 

For years, the Committee banned these kinds of protests at Olympic events, but after facing relentless backlash, new guidelines allow athletes to demonstrate through kneeling or raising a fist in certain settings. 

“While the guidelines offer new opportunities for athletes to express themselves prior to the competition, they preserve the competitions on the Field of Play, the ceremonies, the victory ceremonies and the Olympic Village,” IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Kirsty Coventry said. “This was the wish of a big majority of athletes in our global consultation.” 

The soccer team’s chance at winning gold was put to the test after losing against Sweden, a rival of the U.S. and well-ranked team, according to Just the News.