Megan Rapinoe is a member of the U.S. National Soccer Team.
But she’s also a member of Team Colin Kaepernick.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has become a topic of national debate after refusing to stand for the national anthem prior to a couple recent preseason football games.
He has made it clear that he plans to continue this protest once the actual season gets underway as well.
Upon initially taking this stance, Kaepernick explained his controversial decision as follows:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
In subsequent interviews, Kaepernick specifically cited violent confrontations between members of the police and members of the African-American community that resulted in the latter being killed.
The story has become a global sensation.
President Obama even commented on Kaepernick’s protest over the weekend.
He said that the quarterback was exercising his “constitutional right,” that he’s following in the tradition of other famous athletes and “I think he cares about some real legitimate issues that have to be talked about.”
Here’s a look at Obama making these remarks:
Kaepernick has added that he will continue to make his voice heard until there is “significant change” in the world and he’s also pledged to donate $1 million to charities that help communities in need.
Before you criticize Kaepernick, perhaps you should ask yourself:
What are you actively doing to bring about social justice?
No, standing up for the national anthem does not count.
So that brings us to Megan Rapinoe.
A midfielder for the Seattle Reign FC in the National Women’s Soccer League, she took a knee while The Star-Spangled Banner played prior to kickoff against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday night.
Yes, she later told reporters, his was an intentional move.
Rapinoe explained that she took stand because she’s disgusted with the way Kaepernick has been treated by critics.
Some folks really seem to think that the symbolic gesture of standing up during the national anthem is somehow more important or effective that the proactive stance against injustice that Kaepernick is trying to take.
Rapinoe added that she can relate to Kaepernick on an oppressed level, too.
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” she said.
“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.
“It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this.”
What do you think of Rapinoe’s act?
What do you think of John Legend calling The Star-Spangled Banner weak?
What do you think of veterans standing with Kaepernick across the nation? Does it change your viewpoint at all?