2020 Tokyo Olympics: Carli Lloyd Stands While Teammates Kneel Before Bronze Medal Match

by Suzanne Halliburton

Carli Lloyd, one of the top players for U.S. women’s soccer, opted not to kneel with her teammates just before the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match.

The Americans won the game against Australia, 4-3, to win bronze, or third place, in the Tokyo Olympics soccer tournament. Sweden and Canada, the two teams to beat the USA in Tokyo, played Friday for the gold medal.

Many players on teams throughout the world have knelt before each match to protest racism. The protests were prompted, in part, because of racial slurs hurled towards three Black players for England who competed in the men’s Euro 2020. Italy beat England for the European Championship last month.

Plus, some players for the U.S. women have used their platform to protest racism for several years. Team star Megan Rapinoe began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. But the team now stands for the anthem. They even joined a celebrated World War II veteran for the anthem on July 5, the team’s final exhibition match before the Tokyo Olympics.

At Tokyo Olympics, Players Stood for Anthem, But Took a Knee to Protest Racism

At the Tokyo Olympics, all the American women players stood for the anthem. The bronze medal game featured the American players’ protesting, plus the kneeling of two referees. The Australians linked arms, but didn’t kneel.

Lloyd usually doesn’t join in on any of the protests. Plus, the bronze medal game probably will be her last. She’s 39 and already was the oldest player ever to earn a spot on the American women’s Olympic team.

On Friday, with several hours to process what happened to the Americans, Lloyd said the team got what it deserved. They were the defending world champions but didn’t plat well to live up to the seeding at the Tokyo Olympics.

Lloyd told Today: “I don’t think we personally deserved to even win a gold medal, the way we were playing. To have played so well in the last third-place match, to come away with the bronze, we earned that, and I think that’s what really makes it super special.”

Lloyd scored two of the team’s four goals. And she hinted that the Tokyo Games could be her final competition.

She told Today before the Games started that she wanted to try and have a baby and start a family.  She said that plan “has to somewhat happen sooner rather than later.”

On Friday, she wouldn’t say for sure if she’d keep playing.

“I don’t know,” she said. “That’s the million-dollar question I think. I’m going to go home and enjoy myself for several days and just have a conversation with my husband.”

She joked that her husband “is definitely eagerly waiting for me to just switch off and not be as psychotic as I have been.”