The U.S. men’s soccer team took the pitch before a friendly match against Wales on Thursday night wearing social justice messages on their warmup jackets before kickoff.
The players wore the message “Be the Change” in blue on red backgrounds, and several others wore individual messages on the back of them. Some of the phrases included: “Stop Racism,” “Believe to Achieve,” “Unite in Truth,” “Spread Love Not Hate,” “Black Lives Matter” and “For Social Justice.”
“During the walkout and anthem in advance of the match against Wales today, the U.S. men’s national team players took advantage of the moment to send and spread a meaningful message,” the U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement.
US team members stand for their national anthem before the international friendly soccer match between Wales and USA at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
“With the goal of inspiring action on social justice issues, all of the players had ‘Be the Change’ adorned on the front of their anthem jackets. The spirit of their message is that each and every person has the ability, opportunity and responsibility to make a difference in our own way.”
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said he was “proud” of the players, according to ESPN.
“I am also proud of the fact the players came together and thought about how to activate for social justice with ‘Be The Change,’” he said. “When you saw the line up at the anthems and the jackets, we want change and I was really proud of the guys.”
The U.S. and Wales finished to a 0-0 draw.