U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe kneels during national anthem
Published 11:04 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem before a U.S. women’s national team match against Thailand on Thursday night.
Rapinoe first knelt during the anthem on Sept. 4 before a game with her National Women’s Soccer League team, the Seattle Reign. She said she wanted to express solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is not standing during the anthem to bring attention to racial inequality.
After Thursday night’s game, which the United States won 9-0, U.S. Soccer issued a statement to ESPN that said representing the country is a “privilege and honor” for any play or coach associated with the national teams.
“Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country.
“As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the National Anthem is played.”
It was unclear whether Rapinoe would face any sanctions from the federation.