WATCH: All 22 NWSL Starters Kneel During Anthem Before Challenge Cup

The NWSL is taking a stand. Ahead of the league’s return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic, all 22 starters from the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns kneeled during the national anthem while wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts to protest police brutality.

The NWSL became the first professional sports league to return to action since the coronavirus-related hiatuses.

β€œWe took a knee today to protest racial injustice, police brutality, and systemic racism against Black people and people of color in America,” a statement from the two teams read. β€œWe love our country and we have taken this opportunity to hold it to a higher standard. It is our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms this nation was founded upon are extended to everyone.”

You can see some of the scenes from the protest below.

United States Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe shared her thoughts on the protest on social media.

“You love to see it. You love to see these women using their voice, demanding better for America, and for black people and people of color. [Courage] and [Thorns] kneeling in solidarity with [Colin Kaepernick] and [Black Lives Matter],” she wrote.

Of course, there were still some people like former United States men’s soccer star Alexi Lalas who took offense to the gesture.

“Now it takes courage to actually stand for the national anthem,” Lalas wrote on Twitter.

It didn’t take long for Lalas to catch heat for his comments.

Bad take, Alexi. Hold on to that L.

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