FIFA asks for 'tolerance, mutual respect and common sense' after angry Donald Trump tweet


FIFA isn’t going to be intimidated by President Donald Trump. The organization called for “tolerance, mutual respect and common sense” when asked about Trump’s comments regarding players being allowed to kneel during the national anthem, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Soccer adopted a rule in 2017 that prevented players from kneeling during the national anthem. The organization repealed that rule Wednesday due to nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death.

One Republican congressman isn’t happy about that. Matt Gaetz, who represents Florida’s 1st district, introduced a bill Friday that would require U.S. soccer players to stand during the national anthem. Trump tweeted he would not watch soccer if players are allowed to kneel during the national anthem.

FIFA responded to that comment Monday, saying it has a “zero-tolerance approach” to discrimination.

“FIFA strongly advocates for tolerance, mutual respect and common sense when such important matters are debated,” world soccer’s governing body said in a statement to The Associated Press when asked about Trump’s comments. “FIFA has a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of all forms of discrimination in football, as outlined in the FIFA Statutes. We must all say no to racism and no to violence.”

That rebuke is significant, as Trump and FIFA president Gianni Infantino have been friendly in the past. The two have met regarding a number of issues, from the 2026 World Cup to the equal pay issue.

A number of soccer players have protested during games over the past few weeks, including Marcus Thuram of Borussia Mönchengladbach and American Weston McKennie of Schalke.

USWNT star Megan Rapinoe took a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick in 2017, causing U.S. Soccer to implement the rule in the first place. Rapinoe will presumably continue to protest once soccer resumes in the United States.

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