Women’s soccer fans in Portland booed U.S. Armed Forces enlistees on Wednesday at a halftime swearing-in ceremony, during which they were asked to pledge to obey the orders of President Donald Trump.
The ceremony was planned ahead of the 2019 season when it was found out that the Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage women’s soccer teams would be playing on September 11, reported The Oregonian. It was meant to express appreciation for the military on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attack that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
At one point in the ceremony, which was held at Portland’s Providence Park in in front of an approximately 17,000 audience, a group of enlistees took an oath that is used for enlistment into the armed forces. While fans applauded and cheered for the young servicemen and women at the end of the ceremony, they filled the stadium with boos as soon as they heard the part of the oath that involved obeying orders from the Commander-in-Chief.
In the video that captures the moment, boos can be heard when the service-members-to-be were asked to recite, “I will obey the orders of the President of the United States.”
The full oath, according to U.S Army’s official website, reads: “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.”
The fans’ behavior did not help their team improve on the second-half, as the North Carolina Courage added three more goals to deal a humiliating 6-0 blow to the Portland Thorns.
The National Women’s Soccer League does not have a code of conduct for audiences. Men’s Soccer League, however, explicitly states that “political, threatening, abusive, insulting, offensive language and gestures” are banned both during and outside the game period.
Earlier this summer, the Thorns agreed with its partner club, the Portland Timbers, to ban political signage at Thorns games, reported The Oregonian. The club has been under fire ever since.
“All of our operational staff for Providence Park games are the same,” the Timbers said in a statement. “Having different rules for different teams creates confusion among staff and for fans alike.”