US Soccer Star Joins Kaepernick in National Anthem Protest

U.S. Women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe joined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protest on Sunday night, kneeling in solidarity during the national anthem and saying being a "gay american," helped her empathize with the struggle for minority rights.

"Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties," Rapinoe told American Soccer Now. "It's important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this."

Rapinoe, who currently plays for the Seattle Reign in the National Women's Soccer League, become the first nonblack professional athlete join in the recent protest of the national, ESPN reported. Referred to as "one of the USA's most skillful attackers and goal scorers," in her official U.S. Soccer bio, Rapinoe won gold with the national team in the 2012 Olympics and helped lead the U.S. women to their 2015 World Cup victory.

"I am disgusted with way he has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this," Rapione wrote to espnW's Julie Foudy, who posted the comments in a series of tweets. "It is overtly racist. 'Stay in your place black man.' Just didn't feel right to me. Need a more substantive conversation around race relations, & the way people of color treated."

"We are not saying we are not one the greatest countries in world," she added. "Just need to accept that not perfect, things are broken. And quite honestly being gay, I have stood with my hand over my heart during the national anthem and felt like I haven't had my liberties protected, so I can absolutely sympathize with that feeling."

Rapinoe said she would continue her protest at games going forward. Her next game will be this Wednesday in Maryland against the Washington Spirit, according to the team's online schedule.
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