Fox Sports soccer broadcaster Alexi Lalas issued an apology on Sunday for a since-deleted tweet posted in reaction to players on two NWSL teams kneeling before their first match of the Challenge Cup.
Lalas’ original tweet read “Now it takes courage to actually stand for the national anthem,” followed by an American flag and soccer ball emoji.
Hour later, Lalas posted the following statement on Twitter praising the players’ protest and apologizing for the “hurt or anger” caused by his tweet.
I wrote a few more words about today... pic.twitter.com/1jDGXEEK33— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) June 28, 2020
Lalas’ original tweet quickly drew condemnation from many as a show of ignorance of the issues the players are using such protests to oppose. The NWSL itself quote-tweeted Lalas, saying “If this is your takeaway from the organized action by our players, you clearly haven’t been listening, Alexi.”
USMNT strike Jozy Altidore also posted a rebuttal, writing “No. Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe had real courage.”
Even with Rapinoe sitting out the Challenge Cup due to concerns about pandemic safety, NWSL players still used their platform as the first American team sports league to return to send a message about racial injustice following the killing of George Floyd.
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