Watch LIVE

It's claimed some US women soccer players turned backs on 98-year-old WWII vet playing national anthem. But team says they were facing US flag.

News
Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @espn

Some dust got kicked up when video appeared to show some members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team with their backs turned on 98-year-old World War II veteran Pete DuPre while he played the national anthem on harmonica before the team's Olympic send-off game against Mexico on Monday.

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @espn

But images apparently can be deceiving.

What are the details?

Responding to a tweet from the Post Millennial accusing some players of turning their backs while DuPre played the anthem, U.S. Soccer Comms shot back with a tweet of its own:

"Not true," U.S. Soccer Comms wrote. "No one turned their back on WWII Veteran Pete DuPré during tonight's anthem. Some USWNT players were simply looking at the flag on a pole in one end of the stadium. The players all love Pete, thanked him individually after the game, and signed a ball for him."

U.S. team member Carli Lloyd also tweeted that "we turned because we faced the flag."

Another clip shows most of the players turning toward DuPre and applauding him after he played the anthem:

It also appeared that most of the players who were facing away from DuPre during the anthem had their hands over their hearts, which doesn't support an anthem protest claim:

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @espn

Richard Grenell chimes in

Richard Grenell — former acting director of National Intelligence under former President Donald Trump — got some attention with his Monday tweet saying "several" U.S. players "turned away from the US flag" while DuPre played the anthem.

Pollster Frank Luntz countered to Grenell that the "U.S. women not facing forward had turned to face the American flag down by the scoreboard. (A few of them placed their hand over their heart while facing toward the flag instead of the anthem performer.)" Luntz also included an image showing the flag by the scoreboard.

In response to U.S. Soccer Comms, Grenell added another tweet saying "not one of those who snubbed the flag & anthem tuned toward Pete. Pete was to their left. ... They aren't turned to him. (Every Mexican player turned for their anthem)."

There appears to be overall confusion regarding the flag's location and the intent of various U.S. players. While video of DuPre playing the anthem doesn't show it, there appears to be a flag at the end of the stadium based on the photo Luntz posted, and some U.S. players were turned in that direction; in addition many people in the crowd also were turned in that same direction during the anthem. But that doesn't explain why a handful of U.S. players faced forward rather than turning toward the flag.

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @espn

In the same vein, the Post Millennial's original headline, according to the Internet Archive, reads "DISGRACEFUL: US women's soccer team members turn their backs to 98-year-old WWII vet playing the national anthem" preceded by an "American News" category. But the outlet's updated headline reads "DISGRACEFUL: US women's soccer team members turned away from flag as 98-year-old WWII vet played the national anthem" and is preceded by a "News Analysis" category.

Anything else?

Author and comedian Tim Young noted to Grenell that numerous U.S. women soccer players took a knee in protest during the anthem last year:

In addition, star player Megan Rapinoe made a name for herself in 2016 after kneeling for the national anthem a la Colin Kaepernick and since then has virtue-signaled around the globe for progressive causes such as lack of diversity and the evils of Trump among many others.

Most recent
All Articles