Out soccer star Megan Rapinoe knelt during the Star Spangled Banner before a National Women’s Soccer League game over the weekend in Chicago.
Rapinoe described her action as ‘a nod to Colin Kaepernick.’
Kaepernick is the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who gained notoriety recently for sitting out the anthem in his team’s preseason games.
He explained that he would not ‘stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.’
Rapinoe, who came out publicly in 2012, took a knee when her team Seattle Reign played the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday (4 September).
After the game, Rapinoe told espnW’s: ‘I am disgusted with the way he has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this. It is overtly racist. “Stay in your place, black man.” Just didn’t feel right to me. We need a more substantive conversation around race relations and the way people of color are treated.’
She added: ‘We are not saying we are not one the greatest countries in world. Just need to accept that [it is] not perfect, things are broken.
‘And quite honestly, being gay, I have stood with my hand over my heart during the national anthem and felt like I haven’t had my liberties protected, so I can absolutely sympathize with that feeling.’
Going forward, Rapinoe plans to continue with her silent protest before games: ‘The very least that I can do is continue the conversation with him by kneeling for the anthem.’