Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the United States women’s national team, has been silently protesting during the National Anthem at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Rapinoe has not been participating in the national anthem by standing with her arms at her side and not singing along.
Protesting during the national anthem is something that Rapinoe has done since 2016, but it is once again generating buzz because it is now on the world stage.
Rapinoe had previously taken a knee.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 11, 2019
When explaining her decision to protest earlier this year, Rapinoe revealed that her gesture is a statement against President Donald Trump and also admitted that she was inspired by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“But Colin Kaepernick very much inspired me, and inspired an entire nation, and still does, to actually think about these things,” she told Yahoo Sports. “The way he spoke about them so clearly, so matter-of-fact, wasn’t trying to convince anyone. Just, ‘This is what is happening, this is what I’m willing to do about it.’ I found that extremely inspiring and convicting. Like, how can you not support?”
She previously wrote an essay in the Players’ Tribune to explain her decision to protest during the anthem.
“I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache,” Rapinoe wrote.
“There is no perfect way to protest. I know that nothing I do will take away the pain of those families. But I feel in my heart it is right to continue to kneel during the national anthem, and I will do whatever I can to be part of the solution.”
The United States steamrolled Thailand 13-0 in their first game of the World Cup and followed up with a 3-0 victory over Chile. Up next for the USWNT is a meeting with Sweden on Thursday, June 20.