U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe stuck to her word by refusing to sing the national anthem Tuesday before the World Cup opener against Thailand.
Megan Rapinoe, captain and starting forward for the U.S. Women’s National Team, refused to sing for the national anthem before their World Cup opener against Thailand, after having told Yahoo Sports that she would most likely never sing the national anthem ever again.
She explained her decision by saying that, as a gay American, she knew what it meant to see the flag and “not have it protect all of your liberties.”
Her protests began in 2016 following Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial discrimination.
Following Rapinoe’s initial protest, U.S. Soccer Federation released a statement that they expected everyone on the team to stand for the national anthem. U.S. Soccer eventually adopted a policy requiring players to stand for the anthem and Rapinoe initially agreed to respect it.
Rapinoe eventually expressed her displeasure toward the new policy, calling it “cowardly.”
“We can actually have a conversation, instead of just telling me that it’s a privilege to pull on the jersey,” she continued. “Like, of course it’s a privilege for me to pull on the jersey. Part of that privilege is representing America, and representing America is representing all of America.”
The 33-year-old captain is in her third World Cup, and began her campaign by scoring a goal against Thailand. The U.S. women play their next game against Chile on Sunday.