Soccer player Megan Rapinoe has been kneeling for the anthem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a trend last year when he decided to kneel for national anthem for social justice.
Athletes in other sports decided to follow, with leagues supporting their decisions and not really taking a stance either way.
But now the U.S. Soccer Federation has passed a bylaw that states everyone must stand for the national anthem.
Last September, women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe decided to kneel for the anthem before a friendly against Thailand. She chose to follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps and use it to protest against social inequality:
“I am disgusted with the way he has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this,” Rapinoe told espnW’s Julie Foudy. “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.”
“We are not saying we are not one the greatest countries in world,” she added. “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.”
A week later, the federation stated the officials did not agree with Rapinoe:
“Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer,” the statement read. “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.”
None of that bothered Rapinoe, who vowed to keep kneeling for the anthem. But for the anniversary of 9/11, Rapinoe stood for the anthem and linked arms with her teammates.
Kaepernick, the man who started it all, announced this week he has decided to end his protest and instead concentrate on charity.
However, he decided this approach when he was still mulling over his 49ers contract. He opted out the next day, which means he’s looking for a new job.DONATE
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