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Soccer star Rapinoe kneels during national anthem

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    United States’ Megan Rapinoe, right, kicks the ball past Sweden’s Lisa Dahlkvist during a quarterfinal match of the women’s Olympic soccer tournament in Brasilia on August 12. Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem tonight before the Seattle Reign’s game against the Chicago Red Stars “in a little nod” to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

CHICAGO » U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem tonight before the Seattle Reign’s game against the Chicago Red Stars “in a little nod” to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the anthem to protest racial injustice and minority oppression came to public notice when he remained seated on the bench before a preseason game against Green Bay. On Thursday night in San Diego, he and safety Eric Reid kneeled during the anthem before a game against the Chargers.

“It was very intentional,” Rapinoe told American Soccer Now after Seattle’s 2-2 tie in the National Women’s Soccer League game. “It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now. I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t. We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country.

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. 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. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”

The 31-year-old Rapinoe helped the U.S. win the World Cup last year and played in the Rio Olympics.

“It’s the least I can do. Keep the conversation going,” Rapinoe tweeted.

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  • What a joke, quit giving idiots attention. Stand in appreciation for those who have sacrificed for what freedoms we and many around the world have but just don’t sing those parts you disagree with. I have long since quit singing “the land of the free” because we are not free, everyone who pays income tax is a slave for some significant part of the year. By the time we retire, we all have been ’12 years a slave’.

  • “United we stand divided we fall.” Our anthem is sang and played at many events for a brief, solemn and sacred moment to remind us we stand United in a free country. I’m an old timer, lived through many good and bad historical periods of our America. When I hear our anthem it gives me goose bums throughout all the years of my life. Sometimes the tears come when the memories of those Americans who gave their lives in foreign countries filled my heart with sadness because they will never ever hear the song and words of the anthem ever again. The anthem that swell our hearts with pride, comfort living families of deceased soldiers, gave proof of our freedom is well fought and we stand united as one against our enemies. Who but a few mis-guided people can’t see “the dawn early lights” that kept our country bright and shining above all others countries. I’m an old timer, but I will stand for our anthem as long as these old legs of mine can hold me up. God bless us and our America!

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