Megan Rapinoe has been one of the more notable names that has sided with Colin Kaepernick in his protest. Thursday night, she did it in a U.S. Women’s National Team uniform for the first time. U.S. Soccer was not happy about it, and they were loud and clear about it.
The team won 9-0 over Thailand, so all was well there. During the game, however, U.S. Soccer released a statement against her protest, speaking in favor of the anthem.
The statement read as such, from John D. Halloran:
Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the National Anthem is played.
U.S. Soccer hasn’t been the only ones in opposition to Rapinoe’s protest. The Washington Spirit moved the national anthem ahead of schedule so she could not protest, and she was reasonably — and expectedly — unhappy about it.
Kaepernick’s movement has picked up so much steam, perhaps more than anybody envisioned. It will be interesting to see if U.S. Soccer decides to punish Rapinoe for her protest or not. It would certainly add another dynamic to this already interesting story.