Colin Kaepernick does not stand alone.
Or, well, kneel alone.
On Sunday night, United States women’s national team soccer star Megan Rapinoe also took a knee during the national anthem before her Seattle Reign game in the National Women’s Soccer League, as “a nod to Kaepernick.”
Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem tonight in Chicago. Says it was intentional, "a nod to Kaepernick."
— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) September 5, 2016
Rapinoe, who has struggled with injuries lately, started the game – a 2-2 tie with the Chicago Red Stars – on the bench but took a knee on the sideline during the anthem.
Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has refused to stand for the national anthem during his team’s NFL preseason games in protest of the treatment of racial minorities in the country.
“I am disgusted with the way he has been treated and the hatred he has received in all of this,” Rapinoe said to ESPN. “It is overtly racist. ‘Stay in your place, black man.’ [It] just didn’t feel right to me. We need a more substantive conversation around race relations and the way people of color are treated.”
“We are not saying we are not one of the greatest countries in world,” Rapinoe continued. [We] just need to accept that [it is] not perfect, things are broken. ”
“Being a gay American,” Rapinoe told American Soccer Now, “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 said she intends to keep protesting during the national anthem for the foreseeable future.