Left-wing Utah columnist defends woke NC soccer fan group’s attack on credit union, says ‘America First’ is racist

Mar 30, 2024 | Political News

A left-wing columnist at the Salt Lake Tribune agreed with the claim that the term “America First,” even as it is used by the Utah-based “America First Credit Union,” (AFCU) is racist. This comes after a North Carolina Courage soccer fan group took issue with the Utah Royals for wearing the logo of the credit union, which sponsors the team, on their jerseys.

Gordon Monson, a long-time columnist at the left-wing Salt Lake Tribune, penned an article titled, “Time for a Utah credit union and the Utah Royals to dump the ‘America First' name and logo,” after the fan group made the allegation that the term is racist.

“Here’s a call not just for the Utah Royals to take the America First name and logo off the front of its jersey and off its stadium as the team’s headline sponsor, but also for America First Credit Union to change its name,” he wrote.

Monson's opinion piece comes after a fan group of the North Carolina Courage, called the “Uproar” posted on March 22  that the name of the local credit union was racist and slammed the Utah Royals soccer team for having them as a sponsor. Many took issue with the post and made fun of the proposition online, leading to the post getting community noted. 

The Uproar shared the article on the thread with the original post, saying that the phrase “America First” is rooted in “racism, fascism, and hateful ideology.” 

The group also added, “Thank you to Andre and Courtney of the @DiasporaUtdPod for bravely speaking about this. We join you in speaking out – soccer is for all, and promoting language that is tied to racism and hatred is unacceptable.” 

Monson said that phrase “represents racism; it represents antisemitism; it represents isolationism; it represents xenophobia; it represents keeping America the way it was once supposedly favored to be, back when it was largely white Protestant; some even link it to Nazi ideology; it represents an extreme political movement unbecoming of a company that wants to be of service to all Utahns.” 

Monson alleged that the use of the term “represents racism,” even though he conceded that he has “done some business with AFCU, and never, not once, have I gotten the impression that anyone associated with the company holds or espouses” racist views.  

“America First” has been used by an amalgamation of many throughout American history and became more popular when picked up by President Donald Trump's MAGA movement.

One conglomerate that used the term was the anti-war movement and the America First Committee in the 1940s, which was made up of a coalition of “pacifists and communists (at least until Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941), wild-haired liberals, straight-laced conservatives and everything in between,” according to a 2016 article on the topic from James Carafano, long-time foreign policy researcher and military historian at the Heritage Foundation.  

The America First Credit Union did not take on its name until the 1980s after being first founded in 1939 as the Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union. This name was dropped in 1947 to the Federal Employees Credit Union. Its name changed once again in 1984 to America First Credit Union.