USA players snub national anthem against Portugal after World Cup controversy

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USA players snub national anthem against Portugal after World Cup controversy
USA players snub national anthem against Portugal after World Cup controversy

The US Women's national team have sparked further controversy at the World Cup after once again remaining silent during the playing of their national anthem.

The reigning champions have been slammed in recent weeks for their failure to sing the Star-Spangled Banner, with fans taking to social media to brand them "embarrassing” and “disrespectful”.

But Vlatko Andonovski's side again opted to keep quiet ahead of their decisive Group E clash with Portugal on Tuesday.

Just three players, including striker Alex Morgan, mumbled along to the anthem, while others stood motionless and failed to put their hands on their heart as the anthem rang out at Eden Park.

Only Morgan, Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher and Lindsey Horan put their hands on their chest, while the entire Portugal squad proudly belted out their anthem.

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Following the USA's 1-1 draw with the Netherlands last week, journalist Megyn Kelly was vocal in her disdain about the national team's refusal to sing.

“I really do believe their version of what a feminist is, what it means to be an empowered woman, at least as an American woman, means you need to hate your country," Kelly said on SiriusXM's The Megyn Kelly Show.

USA players snub national anthem against Portugal after World Cup controversyJournalist Megyn Kelly has slammed the players' refusal to sing (Getty)

“It means to go out on the national stage and embarrass yourself and your country by not singing the national anthem. For several of them, not even holding their hands over their hearts when the national anthem played, was a bridge too far.

“They couldn’t be bothered to actually place their hand on their heart as the national anthem played, as they stood out there representing you and me and the country and our military and people who have given their lives for the country that they represent.

“It was too much of an effort [for them] to place their hand over their heart, or God forbid, sing.”

It has so far been an underwhelming tournament for the USA, who beat Vietnam 3-0 in their opening game before being held by the Netherlands. They need at least a point against World Cup debutants Portugal to guarantee their progression to the Round of 16.

Beth Lindop

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