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Gov. Cox steps in as soccer fans argue over the meaning of “America First” on the Royals club jersey



Salt Lake City, Utah – A group of soccer fans in Raleigh, North Carolina, came under fire from Governor Spencer Cox for pointing out the Utah Royals team jersey.

The supporters are concerned about the political overtones of the phrase “America First” as well as the affiliation with America First Credit Union, the jersey’s sponsor.

The conversation started on the same night that the Utah Royals and North Carolina Courage played at America First Stadium.

The organization from North Carolina connected the term “America First” to politics. During the game, fans of the Royals spoke up.

“It’s the name of the field,” said Kim Mazza, a soccer fan.

“I understand where they’re coming from,” said Michael Brown, a soccer fan.

The Utah Royals jersey has sparked a communal response among soccer lovers.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the Uproar, a group states — “the front of the jersey print that reads ‘America First,’ one of the teams’ sponsors, comes with a long history rooted in racism, fascism, and hateful ideology.”

“I hope that they realize that that’s not what Real Salt Lake, the Utah Royals, and Real Monarchs stand for—any of that is what people connote American first and the eagle for,” Brown said.

In a statement, America First said, in part, “Its name and history are rooted in the credit union’s initial connection with the United States government, serving civilian federal employees working at American military bases… Never losing sight of their founding principle of ‘people helping people.'”

“It never came across to me as something that could come across the wrong way, but I can totally see that someone from not around here might take it the wrong way,” said Kelly Esparza, a soccer fan.

“Just when you think this website can’t get any more ridiculous, I had to double-check if this was a parody account.”

“I don’t think anyone from out of state is wrong in their opinion about it. I just think they’re just misinformed,” said Kelly Esparza, a soccer fan.

“I am a person who was born and raised in Utah. I know America first as the credit union that has been around for years; that’s where I bank,” said Brown.

Real Salt Lake is also intimately associated with America First, as they purchased the stadium’s naming rights in 2022.



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