Colin Kaepernick is not alone in his protest against the national anthem as the 49ers quarterback is looking to raise awareness for social injustices in America.
Kaepernick has caught the attention of everybody since deciding to first sit and now kneel during the national anthem of 49ers games. The latest person to take a stand with Kaepernick by not standing during the anthem is USWNT soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
In the Seattle Reign's game in Chicago against the Red Stars, Rapinoe was seen kneeling while the rest of her teammates stood as the national anthem played. After the game, Rapinoe explained her decision to join Kaepernick's protest against the national anthem.
“It was very intentional,” Rapinoe told John D. Halloran of American Soccer Now. “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."
Once social media took a hold of the news, Rapinoe responded to the support for her actions.
"It's the least I can do. Keep the conversation going," Rapinoe tweeted out.
An image of Rapinoe kneeling has emerged from the Twitter user @jessicadolan.
— Jessica Dolan (@jessicadolan) September 5, 2016
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties," Rapinoe explained. "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."
Rapinoe also believes that it was important for her as a white athlete to stand up for an African American athlete standing up against the injustices of African American people in our country.
"It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this," Rapinoe said of her actions. "We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”
Kaepernick was joined by teammate Eric Reid in the 49ers' final preseason game as the two both took a knee during the national anthem in San Diego against the Chargers. Reid was a major influence in Kaepernick kneeling instead of sitting for his protest. The safety believed in Kaepernick's purpose, he just wanted to protest in the most respectful way with Kaepernick.
“He is taking advantage of the platform that he’s given to bring awareness to a worthy cause,” Reid said in his explanation of why he joined Kaepernick. “What’s more American than that?”
While Kaepernick and Reid were kneeling in San Diego, another supporter joined the movement in Oakland. As the Seahawks stood in unison during the anthem against the Raiders, they were one man short. Cornerback Jeremy Lane sat on the bench throughout the playing of the anthem.
“I wasn’t trying to say anything,” Lane said on him sitting during the anthem. “I was just standing behind Kaepernick.” Just as Kaepernick will continue not to stand, Lane will join him until justice in America he hopes to see truly happens.
Kaepernick was named to the 49ers' 53-man roster and will be the backup quarterback to start off the season against the LA Rams.
“The goal is to keep the dialogue open,” Reid said on he and Kaepernick's continuance of their protest. “There are issues in this country that a lot of people feel strongly about. And the goal is just to fix those issues, to make progress on those issues.”