Last month, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced that he would not stand for the national anthem as a sign of protest against American oppression of people of color. This being the United States, the move was highly controversial, with Santa Clara police officers threatening to boycott 49ers games and some fellow football players coming out against the quarterback. Others, however, approved of the move, including some members of the armed forces who showed their support using the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick.
On Sunday night, soccer star Megan Rapinoe joined those backing Kaepernick.
From American Soccer Now:
The silent protest occurred on Sunday night as the Star Spangled Banner was played ahead of a National Women’s Soccer League match between the Chicago Red Stars and Rapinoe’s team, the Seattle Reign.
Speaking after the match, Rapinoe explained why she decided to kneel during the anthem.
“It was very intentional,” said Rapinoe. “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 added, “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.” And so she, like Kaepernick, and 49ers safety Eric Reid, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, decided to force a conversation in a move that required no words at all.