SportsPulse: Athletes took to social media to voice their anger over George Floyd's death, with many resurfacing photos of Colin Kaepernick's protest over criminal and social injustice. USA TODAY Sports' Nancy Armour reiterates Kaepernick's protest was never the issue in this country. USA TODAY


For the first time since the global coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world, a professional team sport finally returned in the U.S.

On Saturday, the NWSL made its return to the field with the backdrop of the pandemic and the nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality clearly evident. And before the games, players from every team unified in protest and kneeled for playing of the national anthem.

By this point - nearly four years after Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem - the message should be clear. It's not an anti-military/anti-American demonstration but rather a peaceful protest to bring attention to real problems in the country.

That message was still lost on former U.S. soccer player and current Fox analyst Alexi Lalas.

He tweeted that it took courage to actually stand for the anthem, which woefully missed the point and had many calling out Lalas for the tone-deaf tweet.

The backlash over the tweet eventually had Lalas trending on Twitter, with even the NWSL itself calling him out.

Lalas was also taken to task by two of the biggest U.S. men's natonal team stars.

And come early Sunday morning, Lalas deleted the tweet and issued an apology. He said that he was "sorry for any hurt or anger it caused."