The rainbow-colored symbols for the USMNT returned in the national team’s training facilities in Qatar. A rainbow-colored badge and pattern appears in the media room for the USMNT’s training facilities, according to the Guardian.

The training area, located for the United States on the north side of Doha, features a part of the side’s inclusion campaign. Titled “Be the Change,” the campaign is meant to show that every person has the ability to make change in their community. That includes silencing racism and embracing pride for sexual orientation.

However, the World Cup in Qatar presented a challenge to some of the progressive ideas “Be the Change” highlights. The main instance of those is same-sex relationships, which are illegal in the host nation. FIFA claims that everyone, regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation or other characteristic is welcome at the World Cup. Qatar’s security head at the World Cup agrees, but does not exactly mean to protect those waving around symbols of pride.

The rainbow flag, for instance, is one such topic of concern. Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari is the director of the Department of International Cooperation for Qatar. He said his staff may take pride symbols to ‘protect’ those showing them.

“If he (a fan) raised the rainbow flag and I took it from him, it’s not because I really want to, really, take it, to really insult him, but to protect him,” Al Ansari told the AP. “Because if it’s not me, somebody else around him might attack (him) … I cannot guarantee the behavior of the whole people. And I will tell him: ‘Please, no need to really raise that flag at this point.’”

USMNT employs pride logos

Notably, the USMNT will not wear the rainbow crest during games. This is solely for the training facility and the equipment there.

That being said, it is a major step against Qatar’s plans to have nations focus entirely on sport, rather than togetherness at the World Cup. FIFA recently wrote to teams telling them to focus on soccer. He does not want to bring in “every ideological or political battle that exists.”

Gregg Berhalter, manager of the USMNT, spoke in his press conference on Monday defending his team’s actions in using the “Be the Change” logos.

“It is not just Stateside that we want to bring attention to social issues, it is also abroad,” Berhalter said. “We recognise that Qatar has made strides and there has been a ton of progress but there’s some work still to do.”

The United States kicks off its competitive play in Qatar on Monday, Nov. 21, against Wales.

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final