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USMNT’s Tyler Adams asked by Iranian reporter about being Black, representing the US

Tyler Adams, the captain of the U.S. men’s national team, took a question about discrimination in the United States from an Iranian reporter at the Qatar World Cup after the same reporter pointed out Adams has mispronounced Iran.

The unidentified Iranian reporter told Adams during a press conference that “once and for all, let’s get this clear” when it came to pronouncing the name correctly in English after pointing out that members of the U.S. soccer team express support for protesters in Tehran.

The Iranian reporter then asked Adams if he felt “OK” representing the U.S. at the international worldwide soccer event given that it “has so much discrimination against Black people in its own border.”

“My apologies on the mispronunciation of your country. Yeah, that being said, you know, there’s discrimination everywhere you go,” Adams responded.

“One thing that I’ve learned, especially from living abroad in the past few years and having to fit in in different cultures is that, in the U.S., we’re continuing to make progress every single day,” he said.

The soccer star referenced his upbringing in a white U.S. family with an African American heritage, saying it helped him “assimilate” in different cultures.

“Not everyone has that, that ease and the ability to do that, and obviously it takes longer to understand. And through education, I think it’s super important — like you just educating me now on the pronunciation of your country,” Adams said to the Iranian reporter. 

“So, yeah, it’s a process. I think as long as you see progress, that’s the most important thing,” Adams said. 

The exchange came after Iranian state media on Sunday called for the U.S. to be banned from competing in the international event over a now-deleted social media post from the U.S. national team in which an Islamic emblem on the Iranian flag was removed. The post was seen as the men’s team offering support for protesters in the country who are demonstrating against the Iranian government.

The U.S. and Iran will face each other in a World Cup match on Tuesday that will determine who heads to the tournament’s knockout stage.

Updated 11:02 p.m.

Tags Iran U.S. USMNT World Cup World Cup 2022
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