Megan Rapinoe kneels before USWNT match (Video)


Megan Rapinoe continues to protest the national anthem, as she knelt on the sidelines during the USWNT’s friendly match against Thailand.

When Colin Kaepernick first sat out during the national anthem, he said the issue was “bigger than football.” As it turns out, he was right because after a bunch of NFL players joined Kaepernick’s movement in Week 1, Megan Rapinoe did the same before a US Women’s National Team friendly.

The United States are taking on Thailand, and while it was billed as Heather O’Reilly’s final match, the focus is now on Megan Rapinoe. Even though she’s not in the starting XI, she was still on the sidelines, and when the national anthem started, she took a knee:

Rapinoe has already protested the anthem during a Seattle Reign game. And while the crowd for that match was sparse, her actions didn’t go unnoticed. Rapinoe acknowledged that her actions were a nod to Colin Kaepernick, and stated that she knows what he’s going through as an openly gay athlete.

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However, Rapinoe’s protest is a much bigger deal. She’s doing it while representing her country, and it’s in front of a larger audience. More people watch US National Team games compared to Seattle Reign games. As SI’s Grant Wahl remarks, it’s the first time ever that somebody has protested the anthem during an international football match:

Combine that with the fact that she’s drawing attention away from Heather O’Reilly, and her protest won’t go over well with many people. However, her teammates know her better than anyone else, and support her actions no matter what.

If Rapinoe’s protest was done as a way of igniting her team, it worked since they got off to a 3-0 lead in the opening five minutes. O’Reilly also has a goal and assist in just the first half.