The United States women’s soccer team suffered a crushing defeat to Sweden at the Tokyo Olympics this week after the players took a knee for Black Lives Matter.
The American team came into the Tokyo Games ranked number one, with a 44 game win streak. Sweden stands at 5th place in the rankings and effortlessly beat the USA on penalty kicks in the 2016 Olympic quarterfinals.
Sweden and the U.S. last played in April, with an end result of a 1-1 draw, marking it the only game the U.S. women’s team had not won since January 2019.
The Associated Press analyzed the Wednesday game as follows:
Blackstenius’ header into the far corner off a cross from Sofia Jakobsson in the 26th minute gave Sweden the first-half lead.
The United States came out stale, with its best chance of the opening half coming in the final moments when Rose Lavelle’s shot hit the post. Coach Vlatko Andonovski made changes for the second half, subbing in Carli Lloyd for Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz for Sam Mewis.
But Blackstenius scored again in the 54th minute, beating goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, as the Americans continued to struggle. Lina Hurtig then scored in the 72nd.
MORE CONTEXT: Photo taken of the U.S. women’s team kneeling in black lives matter jackets during the national anthem right before the olympic soccer game; they lost 3-0 to Sweden. pic.twitter.com/11tVF52Ydx
— Shaun Kraisman (@ShaunKraisman) July 21, 2021
The teams at the Tokyo Olympics were given permission to express their political positions at the start of the events.
Team USA took a knee before their game and Sweden’s team did the same.
Yahoo Sports reported:
The U.S. women’s national team and other soccer teams knelt before kickoff of their Olympic openers on Wednesday, the first demonstrations under slightly relaxed restrictions on protest at the Games.
The demonstrations were pre-planned, as they have been before various international soccer matches for over a year now as collective statements against racism and other forms of discrimination.
FINAL | Not the start we wanted but plenty of tournament to play. We go again on Saturday.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 21, 2021
Swedish defender Amanda Ilestedt made the following comment:
“For us it really feels right to stand up for human rights. It was a communication with the U.S. team before, so for us it feels good to do that and it is something we stand for as a team.”
According to Reuters, the women’s soccer teams of Great Britain and New Zealand also took a knee in support of BLM.
For political commentator Matt Walsh’s take on the story, please see the video below.
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