United States Women’s National Team soccer star and World Cup Champion Megan Rapinoe believes she is converting people to her anti-American stance.
She spoke to Anderson Cooper on CNN on Tuesday and discussed a variety of issues, including her National Anthem protests.
“I think that protest is not comfortable ever,” she said. “It’s going to force people to look inward and question everything they thought that they knew.”
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” she said.
Rapinoe was asked, after that decision, why she was protesting the Anthem as she decided to stand with her hands at her sides.
She said that “taking care of others, standing up for yourself and other people if they don’t have the ability to do so, is very uniquely American.”
“I don’t think anybody can deny the horrors of racism and Jim Crow and mass incarceration and what’s happening on the southern border and gay rights and women’s rights.”
She also wrote an op ed in The Players Tribune that, she said, explained her stance on protesting The National Anthem.
“I have chosen to kneel because in the time it has taken me to write this article, many more Americans have been lost to senseless violence.
“I have chosen to kneel because not two miles from my hotel in Columbus, Ohio, on the night before our USWNT match against Thailand, a 13-year-old boy named Tyre King was fatally shot by a police officer. I have chosen to kneel because I simply cannot stand for the kind of oppression this country is allowing against its own people.
I have chosen to kneel because, in the words of Emma Lazarus, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free,’” she said.
“But this is about more than just raising awareness. I know that actions must be taken to help bring about real change.
“Right now, I am reaching out to community leaders, corporate partners and leaders within the Black Lives Matter movement to figure out all the ways I can best support the efforts already in motion.
“While there may not be a perfect plan or solution in front of us, I encourage everyone reading this to join in the conversation.
“Together, we can listen to the people who are living this nightmare every day. We can try to empathize with their pain and start to understand a more complete picture of what is going on in our society.
“We can read articles, editorials, books and stories in order to peel back the layers of this centuries-old oppression,” she said.
“Having these kinds of conversations can be difficult and complex, but so what? We should talk to our family members and challenge them, bringing these hard problems to the dinner table and persevering through uncomfortable conversations. This is not a ‘them’ problem — this is an ‘us’ problem,” she said.
It is interesting that she thinks she is having an influence on getting people to be less patriotic when, judging by the response, it has not worked that way.