U.S. Soccer makes standing order about national anthem

United States players line up during the national anthem before a friendly soccer match against Serbia Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

The United States Soccer Federation added a new policy to its bylaws requiring players to “stand respectfully” during the national anthem.

The policy reportedly was passed by the organization’s board of directors on Feb. 9, but it just came to light Saturday:

It’s unclear what the penalty would be for disobeying the new rule.

It comes after U.S. player Megan Rapinoe knelt during the anthem twice last year — but only once as a member of the U.S. national team.

Here’s video of that occasion:

U.S. Soccer was not pleased with Rapinoe’s decision:

“As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played.”

Rapinoe said she knelt during the national anthem to show support for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s similar protests and for minority groups:

“Quite honestly, being gay, I have stood with my hand over my heart during the national anthem and felt like I haven’t had my liberties protected.”

After learning of the new anthem policy, a spokesperson for the U.S. women’s team issued this statement:

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of passionate takes on the issue on social media. Here’s a small sample from Twitter:

What do you think? Is it fair to force U.S. soccer players to stand during the national anthem if they don’t want to?

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