A military swearing-in ceremony at a women’s professional soccer game took an unexpected turn Wednesday when the enlistees were asked to “obey the orders of the president of the United States.”
It all went down at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, during halftime of a match between the Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage.
According to The Oregonian, the Thorns organization realized prior to the start of the season that the team would be playing on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, so it scheduled the swearing-in ceremony for newly enlisted members of the armed forces.
At halftime, a large group of servicemen and women came out onto the field to take the Oath of Enlistment.
“I, [insert name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” the oath reads, according to the U.S. Army website, “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.”
Everything went fine until “the president of the United States” was mentioned.
Video taken of the scene, which picks up in the middle of the oath, revealed what happened.
“That I will obey the orders,” the enlistees are told to say, “of the president of the United States.”
At that point, the crowd erupted into loud booing, which lasted for several seconds until the oath was resumed.
It’s not hard to understand why the boos rained down: The enlistees were being told to obey President Donald Trump’s orders, and the anti-Trumpers in the crowd were not having it.
After the enlistees finished the oath, the crowd did cheer for them.
The Oregonian reported that the incident occurred in the midst of controversy over Major League Soccer’s updated Fan Code of Conduct, which bans political signs.
“Though the National Women’s Soccer League does not have a fan code of conduct, the [MLS’ Portland] Timbers and Thorns organization has enforced the MLS ban on political signage at Thorns games this season as well,” the newspaper reported.
“All of our operational staff for Providence Park games are the same,” the Thorns said in a statement last month.
“Having different rules for different teams creates confusion among staff and for fans alike. We also believe that what is allowed, for those wishing to trumpet opposition to fascism at MLS games, is also a fair and reasonable approach for Thorns and T2 games.”