Tyler Adams, captain of the U.S. Men's National Team, didn't back down when questioned by an Iranian journalist ahead of a pivotal World Cup match between the two countries.
The journalist scolded Adams for mispronouncing Iran. He then went on to ask the midfielder whether he is comfortable representing a country where there is discrimination against Black people.
"In the U.S., we're continuing to make progress every single day," Adams said.
The midfielder noted his upbringing in a white family with an "African American heritage."
He added that living abroad has helped him navigate different cultures and fit in.
"It's a process, he said. "As long as you see progress, that's the most important thing."
Adams also stated that education helps solves problems, and he thanked the journalist for educating him on the proper way to pronounce Iran.
Tuesday's match between the U.S. and Iran will likely determine who moves on in the tournament. Iran has called for the U.S. to be kicked out of the World Cup after it removed the Islamic Republic emblem on its flag in an image on social media.
The U.S. said it used the altered flag to show support for the protesters in the country. It has since taken down the altered flag, which appeared on social media.