Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem prior to last Sunday's match at Chicago and described it as a "very intentional" nod of support to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Seattle Reign has released a club statement on midfielder Megan Rapinoe’s decision to kneel during the national anthem prior to last Sunday’s game at the Chicago Red Stars, saying it will continue to support Rapinoe “in a manner consistent with the values of our organization.”
Rapinoe described her gesture as a “very intentional” nod of support to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and against the backlash he’s received for a similar stance.
“We recognize Megan’s decision was offensive to some and a source of inspiration to others,” the club statement began.
“We empathize with those offended, as we understand that the playing of the national anthem is one of our nation’s most revered public celebrations, honoring the sacrifices that have been made – and continue to be made – by those serving in our armed forces.
“At the same time, we see many inspired by Megan’s decision, as the courage she exhibited by acting on her beliefs empowers others to take action as well.
“We will continue to encourage all Reign FC players to participate in the pre-match ceremony, which honors those who have served and made sacrifices on our behalf.
“We will also continue to allow players to participate in the pre-match ceremony in a manner consistent with their personal beliefs, reflecting our respect for the rights earned and defended by those fighting for our nation.
“And we will continue to support Megan in her efforts to make a positive impact on our country, encouraging her to do so in a way that provokes needed conversation about serious issues, in a manner consistent with the values of our organization.”
Seattle, which is currently four points out of the NWSL playoff spots with three games remaining, returns to action tonight against the Washington Spirit.