Megan Rapinoe Kneels for National Anthem, Echoes Colin Kaepernick

United States Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe is joining San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his method of social protest. Rapinoe, who plays for the NWSL’s Seattle Reign, refused to stand for the National Anthem before her match against the Chicago Red Stars.

Megan Rapinoe Kneels for National Anthem, Echoes Colin Kaepernick

Rapinoe was inspired by Kaepernick’s pregame actions, she called tonight “a little nod” to him and his fight for racial equality. With that in mind, she decided to use the forum to bring attention to this nation’s treatment of the LGBT community. Here’s her post match statement:

“It was very intentional. 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.”

Rapinoe has had a distinguished career with the USWNT. She was a key member of the World Cup winning side last summer. Despite the heat Kaepernick has taken since his gesture, Rapinoe felt that keeping the conversation going was more important than any negative backlash.

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