In support of the NFL player's protest against racial injustice, U.S. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe kneels during the national anthem.
The members of Team USA's Women's Soccer Team are one of the strongest athletic teams out there—both physically and mentally. And when it comes to their beliefs, members have not been shy about standing up for what they believe in... or in this case, kneeling.
After a summer of battling the gender wage gap and a goalie whose blunt words got her kicked off of the team, the players show no signs of backing down from the limelight after Team USA and Seattle Reign FC teammate Megan Rapinoe's decision to take a knee during the National Anthem on Sunday.
The star midfielder confirmed after the game that her actions were to show her solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who found himself amidst a firestorm of controversy after deliberately choosing to sit, and then kneel, during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice in America.
"Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties," she told American Soccer Now reporters. "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."
The conversation definitely continued prior to the team's game against the Washington Spirit on Wednesday when the home team deliberately played the anthem while Rapinoe was still in the locker room, not even giving her the option to protest.
Kaepernick has also found both criticism and support for his move, with some saying his decision is disrespectful to the military, and others—including President Obama—saying the quarterback is exercising his freedom of expression. Kaepernick followed up his refusal to stand a few days later with USA Today.
"The media painted this as I'm anti-American, anti-men-and-women of the military and that's not the case at all. I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put themselves in harm's way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee, so I have the utmost respect for them."
Seahawks corner back Jeremy Lane also joined the elite athletes by sitting out the salute to the flag prior to the team's preseason finale game along with Kaepernick's teammate, Eric Reid.