When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem, he knew he was making a statement — and was prepared to accept the consequences and go it alone. But people are paying attention, as several more athletes, including a female soccer player, joined the conversation this Sunday.
Colin chose to kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner to protest against racial inequality and oppression in the U.S., and the movement has since spread across the NFL, including his teammate Eric Reid, and Jeremy Lane of Seattle Seahawks.
On September 4, the protest reached the National Women’s Soccer League, as the Seattle Reign’s Megan Rapinoe knelt during the anthem before a game against the Chicago Red Stars. Afterward Megan, who is also a member of the U.S. National Team, tweeted, “It’s the least I can do. Keep the conversation going.”
After the game, Megan revealed that her actions were “very intentional.”
“It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now,” Megan told American Soccer Now. “I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t. We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country.”
But then she went a step further, explaining that her identity as LGBQT has much to do with her stance on the matter.
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”