NWSL's Washington Spirit Play National Anthem Ahead of Schedule After Megan Rapinoe's Protest

In light of Megan Rapinoe's protest, the Washington Spirit have decided to play the national anthem earlier than usual.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

When the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League took the field to compete against the Washington Spirit on Wednesday, Megan Rapinoe didn't have an opportunity to protest the national anthem because the Spirit weren't going to let it happen. 

Prior to the Reign's match against the Chicago Red Stars this past Sunday, Rapinoe took a knee during the playing of the national anthem as "a nod to Kaepernick." "I am disgusted with the way [Kaepernick] has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this," Rapinoe toldespnW's Julie Foudy. "It is overtly racist. 'Stay in your place, black man.' Just didn’t feel right to me. We need a more substantiative conversation around race relations and the way people of color are treated."

"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 about it," Rapinoe toldAmerican Soccer Now after the Reign's match over the weekend. Earlier tonight, the Spirit announced their decision to play the anthem before the players took the field. “In light of Seattle Reign and U.S. Women’s National Team member Megan Rapinoe’s public declaration that she intended to ‘take a knee’ during the United States’ National Anthem tonight, we decided to play the anthem in our stadium ahead of schedule rather than subject our fans and friends to the disrespect we feel such an act would represent,” the team said in a statement. 

Even though the Spirit claim to respect Rapinoe's right to express herself, they "respectfully disagree with her method of hijacking our organization's event." Hmm. Hijacking, huh? 

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

Latest in Sports