Last week it was Drew Brees who brought the “kneeling during the National Anthem” debate back into the headlines and Zoom chat rooms. This week, it’s the entire U.S. Women’s National Team. And hot off their recent setback in their federal court battle for equal pay, this time the women want payback.

BuzzFeed News reported overnight that the USWNT is demanding U.S. Soccer end a controversial policy that requires players to stand during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner prior to every match.

The policy, established in 2017, is actually aimed at only one player: Women’s World Cup Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner, the U.S. MVP, Megan Rapinoe, who prior to the rule knelt during the anthem in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. His doing so in 2016 was to call attention to injustice for Black Americans, although many claimed his kneel on the sideline was a symbolic rejection or affront to the American flag, members of our military, veterans and even Mom’s apple pie.

“The Federation should immediately repeal the ‘Anthem Policy,’ publish a statement acknowledging the policy was wrong when it was adopted, and issue an apology to our Black players and supporters,” the USWNT players said in a statement obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The players called for US Soccer to “lay out its plans on how it will now support the message and movement that it tried to silence four years ago.”

All this comes in advance of what BuzzFeed called a “special board meeting” later today to discuss the anthem policy. As reporter Molly Hensley-Clancy noted in her breaking story, the U.S. Soccer ban goes far beyond what the National Football League has done to limit protests by its players. The soccer ban, which passed unanimously in 2017, requires every player to “stand respectfully” during the playing of the anthem at national team games.

Rapinoe has observed the ban since its establishment and stood for the anthem, but refused to sing the words, her hands at her side and not over her heart. But she hasn’t held back on her feelings about it, or how the owner of one team responded by playing it while the teams were still in the locker room.

Given how LGBTQ people can still get married on a Sunday and fired on a Monday in much of the country, BuzzFeed made special mention of Rapinoe being out and gay in quoting her from 2016: She knelt because she understood “what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.”

“It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this,” she said then.” Last week, Rapinoe joined other athletes in signing a letter to defund police departments and invest in Black communities following the murder of an unarmed man in Minneapolis police custody, George Floyd.

Another revelation from Hensley-Clancy: BuzzFeed News says it’s gotten its hands on emails from 2017 that show US Soccer had planned to punish any national team player who did not stand for the anthem with a range of lengthy and onerous suspensions.

BuzzFeed reports that a US Soccer representative wrote to the player’s union of the men’s national team: “As to repercussions, what we have in mind is that for a first offense, the player be suspended for three (3) national team camps/games… For a second offense, the player would be suspended from participating in national team activities for twelve months.”

According to the report, U.S. Soccer declined to comment.

Read the entire report by Molly Hensley-Clancy at BuzzFeed News by clicking here.