My bill would force U.S. soccer players to stand for the anthem or face financial repercussions

Gaetz differentiates this controversy from the NFL allowing players to kneel during games. “I think this is very distinct from the NFL player kneeling thing, because as much as I oppose that and don’t like it . . . At least those are private people, working for a private company . . . who absolutely have the first amendment right, to do whatever the heck they want to do, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.”

“I certainly think that we have the right to compel that our national team stand for the national anthem,” Gaetz continues. “While our anthem is playing, while you serve on the team, I think there is an obligation to respect our country.”

“In the coming days, I will be introducing legislation to compel US Soccer to reverse the decision they made, to repeal Policy 604-1. If players are playing for our national team, they should respect the honor that that bestows, they should stand for the anthem, they should respect our flag,” Gaetz revealed. “If we love America, we would expect and deserve and demand, no less.”