The first non-football athlete has joined Colin Kaepernick’s protest.
U.S. women’s soccer and Seattle Reign FC star Megan Rapinoe took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday prior to Seattle’s NWSL game against the Chicago Red Stars.
Kaepernick, of course, has been drawing national attention over his refusal to stand during the national anthem. Most recently, he and teammate Eric Reid took a knee during the national anthem last week before a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.
Rapinoe explained her decision both to reporters and on Twitter after the game, a 2-2 draw.
“It was very intentional,” Rapinoe told American Soccer Now, via The Associated Press. “It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right 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.”
Rapinoe isn’t black like Kaepernick, but she does identify with another group consistently oppressed in the United States.
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” she added. “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.”
Another powerful message from another powerful athlete.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@gbpackfan32