The USWNT is facing accusations of whitewashing the team in promotions and Megan Rapinoe appeared to agree

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Meredith Cash
·3 min read
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megan rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe. Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images
  • For the first time in months, all 11 USWNT starters stood for the national anthem.

  • But some have pointed out that the team is still experiencing internal issues related to race.

  • Megan Rapinoe appeared to agree, suggesting the team is not adequately marketing Black players.

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For the first time in many months, all 11 US Women's National Team starters stood for the national anthem ahead of their game against Brazil on Sunday.

But just because the team is "prepared to stand moving forward," as defender Crystal Dunn told the media after the game, doesn't mean that they're out of the woods on issues of racial and social justice - even within their own ranks.

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All 11 USWNT starters stand for the anthem before Sunday's match against Brazil. Alex Menendez/ Getty Images

USWNT fans raised concerns that the team is not adequately marketing its players of color despite having plenty of Black stars worth spotlighting. Promotional material for the team's first two matches of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup featured exclusively white players, prompting former coach and soccer insider Anthony DiCicco to point out the obvious on Twitter.

Not everyone agreed. Journalist Caitlin Murray pointed out that "USSF has to rotate the players" featured in promotional graphics because "the USWNTPA isn't ok with them just using, for instance, Alex Morgan, over and over again."

But in a thread on Twitter, user @heyitslivagain explained how the US Soccer Federation is doing "the barest of bare minimum" in representing its diversity.

And though she was not explicit in her critique, it appears that one of the USWNT's most outspoken players agrees with these criticisms of the federation. Megan Rapinoe posted two images to her Instagram story ahead of Sunday's game.

The first photo showed USSF's promotional graphic for the team's game against Brazil without any edits.

The second post was the same graphic, but this time, Rapinoe covered herself with a gif of Dunn, one of her Black teammates and a superstar in her own right. Rapinoe even tagged the Black Women's Player Collective - a group meant to represent and elevate the interests of Black professional soccer players in the United States - in her latter Instagram story.

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Megan Rapinoe's Instagram story. Megan Rapinoe/Instagram

Though Rapinoe was not among the starting 11 who stood for the anthem on Sunday afternoon, her subtle stance appears to imply that she believes there's more work to be done. Dunn, however, was one of the players who formerly knelt and stood on Sunday, and she was abundantly clear after the 2-0 win that standing does not equate to passivity or submission.

"Even though we are choosing to stand, it doesn't mean the conversations go away or they stop," Dunn told the press. "It's all to say that we are now ready to move past the protesting phase and actually move into putting all of the talk into actual work."

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Crystal Dunn. Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The USWNT plays its final SheBelieves Cup match on Wednesday when Rapinoe, Dunn, and company will face Argentina for a chance to win the tournament for the fourth time.

Read the original article on Insider