In a statement released by her agent Megan Rapinoe said she intends to abide by U.S. Soccer’s new policy which legislates all players and federation representatives stand respectfully during the national anthems. Last fall after Rapinoe took a knee during the national anthem, the federation put out a statement saying they expected players to stand. But until the weekend there was no official policy in place.
Rapinoe’s statement reads:
“It is an honor to represent the USA and all that we stand for — to be able to pull on the red, white and blue to play a game that I love. I will respect the new bylaw the leadership at USSF has put forward. That said, I believe we should always value the use of our voice and platform to fight for equality of every kind,”
Rapinoe has not played a match for the U.S. in 2017. She was in the January camp but did not get called in for SheBelieves. Head coach Jill Ellis told ESPN’s Julie Foudy that Rapinoe “just needs time work her way back in & to get game fit.” Many fans were skeptical of that reasoning especially after Ellis fast tracked Rapinoe’s recovery from ACL surgery in late 2015 to include her on the Olympic roster without so much as a warmup match under her belt.
The next U.S. camp is in April. The statement did not mention whether or not Rapinoe would continue to kneel before NWSL matches. Last week ESPN reported that Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began the kneeling protests last summer, intends to stand during the anthem again this season.