Women’s soccer fans in Portland, Oregon loudly booed several dozen enlistees in the Armed Forces who were sworn in during a halftime ceremony on September 11 at a National Women’s Soccer League game at Providence Park between the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage. The crowd of over 17,000 President Trump hating fans filled the stadium with boos at the part of the oath of allegiance that commands orders of the President of the United States be obeyed. The crowd loudly cheered the enlistees upon completion of the oath.
Video posted by The Oregonian to YouTube shows the incident.
A women’s soccer journalist was perplexed by the pro-America display at the game.
For some reason, halftime at the Thorns game was used for a ceremony to swear-in a group of military enlistees. Crowd boos when they pledge to serve the president of the United States. 😬 #NWSL #BAONPDX #PORvNC pic.twitter.com/7d7ZUJYbbo
— Caitlin Murray (@caitlinmurr) September 12, 2019
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
The Oregonian reported the ceremony was scheduled for the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The paper also reported on the controversy involving the banning of political displays at Portland professional soccer games.
The ceremony came against the backdrop of Major League Soccer facing backlash from fans for changing its Fan Code of Conduct to ban political signage and displays at games. Though the National Women’s Soccer League does not have a fan code of conduct, the Timbers and Thorns organization has enforced the MLS ban on political signage at Thorns games this season as well.
…Some fans said on social media Wednesday night that a military swearing-in event was inherently political and criticized the Timbers and Thorns organization for hosting the ceremony when the MLS Fan Code of Conduct still bans political signage at games.
Among the specific signage that is barred by MLS’s fan code of conduct is the “Iron Front” symbol, an emblem with three arrows pointing downward which was first used by an anti-Nazi paramilitary organization in Germany in the 1930s. Fans say that the Iron Front symbol is not political because it represents an opposition to fascism and oppression, which are issues of human rights. MLS is concerned that the symbol has been adopted by the antifa movement, a loose affiliation of activists whose protests against fascism and racism have sometimes turned violent.