U.S. Soccer debunks viral lie that USWNT players turned backs during national anthem

·3 min read

No, members of the United States Women's National Team did not turn their backs on the World War II veteran performing the national anthem before the team's game on Monday.

Members of the right-wing social media ecosystem tried to claim that players turned their backs to 98-year-old anthem performer Pete DuPre ahead of the 4-0 win against Mexico. Even a former acting director of national intelligence for former President Donald Trump got in on the action in an attempt to incorrectly smear the members of the team. 

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Monday's game was played at UConn's Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Myriad players for the USWNT turned toward the United States flag at one of the ends of the stadium during the anthem while others stood and faced DuPre as he performed the anthem. Some of members of the team who turned toward the flag even had their hands on their hearts. 

It was obvious what was happening in real-time. A United States flag is located by the scoreboard at Rentschler Field. You can see it to the left of the scoreboard next to the Mexico flag. 

The United States flags by the scoreboard at Rentschler Field. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)
The United States flags by the scoreboard at Rentschler Field. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

It was a repeat of what players did Thursday in a previous game against Mexico at Rentschler field. As you can see below, Alex Morgan (13) and Lindsey Horan (9) are turned to face the flag with their hands over their hearts while Christen Press is facing the performer. 

You don't need me to tell you that it's perfectly appropriate to turn and face the flag during the national anthem. 

Members of the USWNT during the national anthem ahead of their game against Mexico on Thursday. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Members of the USWNT during the national anthem ahead of their game against Mexico on Thursday. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Yet the circumstances and the truth didn't stop people from trying to generate faux outrage about the United States national team. After the game, U.S. Soccer took to Twitter to make it clear that the lies being spread were simply that: lies.

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U.S. Soccer even shared a video of the players signing autographs for DuPre.

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Monday's game was the final game on U.S. soil for the women's team before it plays in the Tokyo Olympics. It was part of a send-off series ahead of the Olympics as the USWNT begins Olympic play on July 21 at 4:30 a.m. ET against Sweden. 

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