Political Statement

Women's Soccer Star Kneels During National Anthem

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem at a game against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday night to show solidarity with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality has sparked controversy, with a major backlash from some fans and some police vowing to boycott his games. Rapinoe, a midfielder for Seattle Reign who played in the Rio Olympics and helped bring the U.S. victory at the World Cup last year, told journalists after the game Sunday that her move was "very intentional." "It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he's standing for right now," she said, adding that "we need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country." Rapinoe said she plans to continue her silent protest along with Kaepernick, whose repeated protests of the national anthem have triggered a backlash by some of his fans. "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," Rapinoe said.