The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) has attracted criticism on social media due to its rainbow version of its crest in some places at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar
The rainbow colors, which represent the pride movement, have been added below “USA” on the team badge, replacing the stars and stripes.
U.S. Soccer told Newsweek that the pride style crest will not be on display during games, only at controlled areas, such as at night-before parties for fans.
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said Monday, “When we are on the world stage and when we are in a venue like Qatar, it is important to bring awareness to these issues and that is what ‘Be the Change’ is about.”
He added, “It is not just stateside that we want to bring attention to social issues, it is also abroad. We recognize that Qatar has made strides and there has been a ton of progress, but there’s some work still to do.”
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson said the U.S. team will work hard to promote inclusivity, saying, “We are a group who believes in inclusivity, and we will continue to project that message going forward.”
“We have chatted and continue to have discussions as we lead into the games. We have leaned on the message of ‘Be the Change.’ That is something that we have been proud of and continue to work toward, be impactful with ourselves, our presence and our platform, and we will continue to be so here in Qatar,” Johnson said.
U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Bluthe told Reuters the pride badge will be a “consistent” part of the team’s identity at the world cup.
“As part of our approach for any match or event, we include rainbow branding to support and embrace the LGBTQ community, as well as to promote a spirit of inclusiveness and welcoming to all fans across the globe,” Bluthe said.
“As a result, locations that we will manage and operate at the FIFA World Cup, such as the team hotel, media areas and parties, will feature both traditional and rainbow U.S. Soccer branding.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FOX NEWS
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