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The Extra Point

I admit, I got it wrong

Chris Siers
Posted 7/8/21

I admit, I got it wrong. Earlier this week, I posted a column concerning members US Women's national soccer team "protesting" the national anthem being played prior to kickoff against Mexico in the final tune up game before the Olympics in a few short weeks...

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The Extra Point

I admit, I got it wrong

Posted

I admit, I got it wrong.

Earlier this week, I posted a column concerning members US Women's national soccer team "protesting" the national anthem being played prior to kickoff against Mexico in the final tune up game before the Olympics in a few short weeks.

I watched the pregame coverage and saw World War II veteran Pete DuPre play the national anthem on a harmonica and several of the players had turned facing from a different direction.

I had watched the game while out at a restaurant where the volume was off and didn't directly listen to commentary before.

As such, the events that took place unfolded and looked like an on-field protest that many athletes have embraced.

In reality, this was not the case and I am happy to admit I made the mistake of inferring that was exactly what was unfolding.

While not shown on the broadcast I was watching, members of Team USA met DuPre prior to kickoff and did not shun away from the flag while the national anthem was being played, but in fact faced a second flag.

By the time I had written my opinion piece and the editorial was published, fact checkers inspected claims, much like my own, and proved them to be inaccurate.

Players in fact did not turn away from the flag-something I'm grateful to be wrong about.

Again, I'm happy to admit I was incorrect and glad to set it straight.

The USA women's team has become such a dominant force in the world of global athletics, it became an immediate reaction to something when I didn't have all the facts lined up.

Monday's game came on the heels of USA hammer thrower Gwen Berry's protest after the Olympic trials when she did exactly what I thought the members of the USA Women's team had done.

Berry, an Olympian, who finished third in the hammer throw, turned away from the flag during the medal ceremony in act of protest-something which I had thought team USA had done, when in fact they had not.

With Monday's soccer friendly hot on the heels of Berry's protest, it initially appeared to me this was another case of a protest.

While I'm happy to admit the incorrect perception of Monday night's anthem saga, the issue remains of protests are coming.

The Olympics are a chance to set aside differences and unite behind the Red, White and Blue and the athletes who represent us-all of us.

I'm hopeful, and more so on the optimistic side, Team USA will bring home the gold and continue the dominance on the global soccer stage.

Until then, I'm going to issue an apology to Team USA and get excited for the Olympics in a few short weeks.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at sports@t-g.com.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette.

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