U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the national anthem before her match on Sunday as an act of solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In a postgame interview, Rapinoe, who came out as gay in 2012, told American Soccer Now that the decision was “very intentional” and she considered it a “little nod to Kaepernick.”
“I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t,” she said. “We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country.”
The San Francisco 49ers’ Kaepernick made headlines following a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers when he refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” saying that he would not “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
The photo below shows Rapinoe, of the Seattle Reign, before her National Women’s Soccer League match against the Chicago Red Stars.
Rapinoe added that, as a gay American, she knows “what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.”
“It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it,” she continued. “It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”
Rapinoe later commented about the decision on Twitter.