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The United States women's soccer team stood during the national anthem Sunday prior to its SheBelieves Cup match against Brazil. Some members of the team had knelt two nights earlier before playing Canada.
The move was purposeful, according to left back Crystal Dunn, who said players' focuses regarding racial justice have evolved into action rather than simply starting a conversation.
"I think those that were collectively kneeling felt like we were kneeling to bring about attention to police brutality and systemic racism," Dunn, who is Black, told reporters after the 2-0 win in Orlando, Florida. "I think we decided that moving forward we no longer feel the need to kneel because we are doing the work behind the scenes. We are combating systemic racism.
"We never felt we were going to kneel forever, so there was always going to be a time that we felt it was time to stand. I think we're all proud that we are doing the work behind the scenes and it was just a game that we felt we were ready to move into the next phase and just continuously fight for change."
The U.S. team wore warmup jackets before both matches with "Black Lives Matter" on the front.
"Even though we are choosing to stand, it doesn't mean that the conversations go away, or they stop," Dunn said, per ESPN. "It's all to say that we are now, I think, ready to move past the protesting phase and actually move into putting all of the talk into actual work.
"I am a Black athlete who has often felt like I have not been heard or not been seen and many Black people feel the same way. I think we've had those initial discussions, and I feel better about where this team is. But I do think moving forward, we're prepared to just continue working off the field and continuously having these conversations."
Megan Rapinoe, one of the earliest athletes who demonstrated support for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick by kneeling in 2016, and Christen Press scored.
Contributing: Associated Press
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USWNT's Crystal Dunn on standing for anthem: 'Past protesting phase'