By Andrew Powell
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The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) redesigned its crest to represent the rainbow flag in a show of solidarity with the LGBT community.

The World Cup officially kicks off Nov. 20, and the United States of America will play its first game Nov. 21 against Wales. Throughout the build-up to the tournament, Qatar has received backlash over its human rights record and views on homosexuality.

An ambassador for Qatar’s World Cup told a German television outlet earlier in November that homosexuality is “damage to the mind,” and also pointed out how it’s illegal to be a homosexual in the Muslim country.

After arriving in Doha, USMNT switched up its crest by changing the usual red stripes into rainbow colors — the same colors of the LGBT flag — around their team base. Despite the LGBT colors being shown at their base, it should be noted that the team will not display the rainbow colors on their kits, rather sticking with the normal red stripes.

My whole thing: What exactly is USMNT trying to prove here?

Qatar has an issue when it comes to their human rights record and their attitude towards homosexuals, which is why I don’t blame a lot of LGBT people for skipping out. Why put yourself at risk? Hell, just wait until the World Cup comes to North America (mainly in the U.S.) in 2026.

I know it’s cool and all to hate the United States today for some reason, but changing the colors of our flag is just blatantly disrespectful. And that’s nothing against the LGBT community — it’s just outright disrespectful to the red, white and blue. (RELATED: Qatar Is Booking World Cup Fans In Shipping Containers For Over $200 Per Night)

We should focus on winning, not virtue signaling. USMNT is listed in Group B with England, Wales and Iran. Ouch. Even if you’re not familiar with international soccer, most people are at least aware that England is a powerhouse in the sport. Wales is a dark horse too. How are we going win if we’re too focused on sending a political message?

If we’re this distracted, we’ve already lost the tournament.

What a shame.