Megan Rapinoe Discusses National Anthem Protest

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Megan Rapinoe #15 kneels during the National Anthem prior to the match between the United States and the Netherlands at Georgia Dome on September 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe protested the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick during U.S. Women's soccer games in September, but she will adhere to the national team's new policy that requires players to stand moving forward. 

According to the Guardian's Matt Pentz, Rapinoe confirmed that while she will no longer silently protest before matches, she plans to remain outspoken against inequality in the United States. 

"I don't think there's any perfect way to protest," Rapinoe said, per Pentz. "I think if there was something else being done, something else would have been said about it. I can't look back and say that I would have done this different, this different or this different.

"I can sleep at night knowing that I genuinely tried to have a really important conversation, or at least tried to open it up. I think I came to it with an open mind, an open heart and tried to get as many people to talk about it as I could."

Rapinoe added that while debates have raged on about the optics of anthem protests, she believes discussions need to start touching on the issues that sparked the pushback in the first place. 

"Yes, we can talk about the form of protest, or the way it's done, or this or that," she said, per Pentz. "But it's still not really the conversation that I think we desperately need to have more of in this country."

Rapinoe—who, along with USWNT teammates Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn, filed a wage discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer—also said she's been exposed to the breadth of inequality in the United States. 

"The more I've been able to learn about gay rights and equal pay and gender equity and racial inequality, the more that it all intersects," she said. “You can't really pick it apart. It's all intertwined. God forbid you be a gay woman and a person of color in this country, because you'd be really f--ked."

 

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