- The Washington Times - Friday, September 16, 2016

Since Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest civil rights injustice and police brutality in America, many have joined.

USA soccer midfielder Megan Rapinoe had already taken a knee during her professional club games as a member of the Seattle Reign, but when Team USA took on Thailand Thursday night, Rapinoe took a knee while wearing a Team USA uniform. Take a look.

Protesting during the anthem in a Team USA jersey is almost unheard of. The most famous instance accorded in 1968, when 200 meter gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black gloved fists to bring attention to human rights injustice.

But, according to Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl, Rapinoe’s protest is unprecedented in USA soccer.

Rapinoe, who is gay, does not have the support of her club or coach to protest during the anthem. Team USA released the following statement following Rapinoe’s gesture:

“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.”

Rapinoe’s coach, Jill Ellis, was also not particularly supportive of a potential Rapinoe protest. In an interview prior to the start of the game:

Rapinoe did not start, but she did enter the game in the 46th minute.

Team USA won the match 9-0.

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