The lesbian Seattle midfielder that knelt during the national anthem may have done it a second time, if the opposing team didn’t stop her.
The Washington Spirit altered its pregame ceremonies so The National Anthem would play while athletes were off the field — and so openly lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe could not kneel, reports LGBTQ Nation.
“We decided to play the anthem in our stadium ahead of schedule rather than subject our fans and friends to the disrespect we feel such an act would represent,” the Spirit released in a statement. “We understand this may be seen as an extraordinary step, but believe it was the best option to avoid taking focus away from the game on such an important night for our franchise.”
Rapinoe knelt on Sunday in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has received backlash for refusing to stand for the anthem. He remained sitting to protest racial injustice.
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” Rapinoe said in reference to kneeling during the anthem. “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.”
In their same statement, Spirit described Rapinoe’s actions as “disrespectful” and claimed she was trying to “hijack this tradition.”
In response, Rapinoe told The Washington Post “It was incredibly distasteful, four days before one of the worst tragedies in our country (9/11), to say I tried to hijack this event.”