- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Chicago Red Stars soccer player Rachel Hill defended her decision not to kneel with her teammates during the national anthem over the weekend, saying she had to remain “true” to herself and honor what the American flag “inherently means to my military family.”

A powerful image showing Ms. Hill standing among the rest of her teammates as they knelt during the national anthem at the return of the National Women’s Soccer League on Saturday night went viral, with conservatives hailing it as an act of courage while Black Lives Matter protests continue to rock the country.

Ms. Hill said she respects the Black Lives Matter movement, but ultimately decided stick to her “truth” and stand for the flag.

“I chose to stand because of what the flag inherently means to my military family members and me, but I 100% percent support my peers,” she wrote in a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram. “Symbolically, I tried to show this with the placement of my hand on Casey’s shoulder and bowing my head. I struggled, but felt that these actions showed my truth, and in the end I wanted to remain true to myself.

“If this wasn’t clear, let my words and further actions be,” she wrote. “I support the black lives matter movement wholeheartedly. I also support and will do my part in fighting against the current inequality. As a white athlete, it is way past due for me to be diligently anti-racist.”



Among the players who knelt next to Ms. Hill during the anthem Saturday was Casey Short, a Black player who was seen in tears while her teammate and captain Julie Ertz embraced her.

Ms. Short issued a statement Tuesday saying the conversations she’s had with her teammates regarding race, specifically Ms. Ertz, had been “unapologetically authentic.”

“I have to ask where my hope lies,” Ms. Short wrote. “It lies in my faith and those types of conversations that have been long overdue. The types of conversations that are raw and uncomfortable, that can lead to real impactful change.”

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