The U.S. women’s national soccer team and the U.S. Soccer Federation refuted claims that members of the team turned away from the flag during the playing of the national anthem by a World War II veteran, contending that the players were facing a flag located in a different direction.
World War II Veteran Pete DuPré played the national anthem on his harmonica Monday night ahead of a game between the U.S. women’s national team and Mexico.
In a clip posted on Twitter, members of the team are seen facing different directions, some with their backs to DuPré, during the playing of the national anthem.
The clip posted to Twitter by The Post Millennial, a right-leaning news website, wrote that members of the team showed “disgraceful behavior” by turning their backs to DuPré during the anthem.
Disgraceful behaviour from some members of the US womens' soccer team as they turn their backs while 98-year-old World War II veteran Pete DuPré played the National Anthem on his harmonica. pic.twitter.com/R7Mr3iENGO— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 5, 2021
The U.S. women’s national team and U.S. Soccer Federation, however, are now pushing back on claims that their players turned their backs on DuPré, contending that they were looking at different flags that stood in different directions.
“To be clear, no one turned their back on WWII Veteran Pete DuPré during tonight's anthem. Some USWNT players were simply looking at the flag on a pole in one end of the stadium. The players all love Pete, thanked him individually after the game and signed a ball for him,” the U.S. Soccer Federation wrote in a tweet Monday night.
To be clear, no one turned their back on WWII Veteran Pete DuPré during tonight's anthem. Some USWNT players were simply looking at the flag on a pole in one end of the stadium. The players all love Pete, thanked him individually after the game and signed a ball for him.— U.S. Soccer Comms (@ussoccer_comms) July 6, 2021
The federation also shared a video of the players thanking DuPré and signing a soccer ball for him before boarding the bus, writing, "This is respect."
Carli Lloyd, a forward on the U.S. women’s national team, took to Twitter to refute the claims on her own, writing “We turned because we faced the flag.”
We turned because we faced the flag https://t.co/1JJHUWGCLv— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) July 6, 2021
The controversy over athletes turning their backs to the American flag became a hot-button issue last week, after hammer thrower Gwen Berry faced away from the flag and placed a T-shirt over her head during the playing of the national anthem at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.