Soccer player Megan Rapinoe knelt before the playing of the national anthem on Sunday to show a solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
On Wednesday night, she didn’t get a chance to do it a second time.
Before a National Women’s Soccer League game between Rapinoe’s Seattle Reign and the host Washington Spirit in Maryland, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ was played before the match with both teams still in their locker rooms.
The Spirit, owned by Air Force veteran Bill Lynch, said in a statement it moved up the playing of the anthem “rather than subject our fans and friends to the disrespect we feel such an act would represent.”
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Rapinoe previously took a knee before the Reign played in Chicago on Sunday night.
A member of the U.S. national team, Rapinoe said not standing for the anthem was a “nod to Kaepernick” for all the heat he has taken since being spotted sitting on the 49ers bench before a preseason game against the Packers.
“I am disgusted with the way he has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this," Rapinoe told Julie Foudy of ESPNW.
“It is overtly racist: 'Stay in your place, black man.' Just didn't feel right to me. We need a more substantive conversation around race relations and the way people of color are treated.
“We are not saying we are not one the greatest countries in world. Just need to accept that [it is] not perfect, things are broken.”
The Spirit’s statement continued with “while we respect every individual’s right to express themselves, and believe Ms. Rapinoe to be an amazing individual with a huge heart; we respectfully disagree with her method of hijacking our organization’s event to draw attention to what is ultimately a personal – albeit worthy – cause.”
Rapinoe, 31, took issue with the team’s actions and statement, taking offense at the wording especially with the 9/11 anniversary approaching.
In speaking with the Washington Post following her team’s 2-1 loss to the Spirit, Rapinoe said “it’s [expletive] unbelievable. Saddened by it. It’s pretty clear what the message is I am trying to bring to light in Chicago and what I continue to try to talk about the last few days. ... It was incredibly distasteful, four days before one of the worst tragedies in our country, to say that I tried to hijack this event. … It’s just really disappointing and disrespectful.”