“It was very intentional,” said Rapinoe. “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.
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. 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. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”
I feel like a lot of people don’t talk about how white the USWNT has been for the most part throughout their history. A lot of that has to do with the pay to play system but I’ll leave that issue for another day. Anyways - I say all that because it was really nice to see Rapinoe show support for Kaepernick and understand that while she can’t relate to Kaepernick on race, she can still show her support as an ally. Although Pinoe has faced her own struggles as an out athlete, it’s important that white people who call themselves allies actually use their fame and power to point out issues like racism, police brutality, white supremacy, etc. So again, good for Pinoe.