USWNT star Rapinoe joins Kaepernick’s national anthem protest

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U.S. women’s national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe has followed in the footsteps of NFL Star Colin Kaepernick.

Rapinoe, 31, went down on one knee during the U.S. national anthem being played at Seattle Reign’s game against the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL on Sunday evening.

The USWNT veteran had since explained her decision to not stand for the national anthem was fueled by the ongoing actions of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick as he has refused to stand for the anthem throughout preseason in a protest against racial injustice and police brutality in the USA. Kaepernick has been widely criticized for his decision to not stand for the anthem.

Rapinoe — who won 2012 Olympic gold with the U.S. and the 2015 World Cup —  later revealed her action was “a nod to Kaepernick” and she also urged others via her Twitter account to “keep the conversation going.”

Speaking to American Soccer Now, this is what Rapinoe had to say about her actions and why she felt the need to kneel for the Star-Spangled Banner.

“It was very intentional,” Rapinoe said. “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.

“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.”