Rapinoe Stands With Her Team, Thorns Earn Home Playoff Berth
SEATTLE (AP) —Megan Rapinoe locked arms with her teammates and stood during the national anthem Sunday night before the Seattle Reign beat the Washington Spirit 2-0 to stay alive in the National Women's Soccer League playoff picture.
Rapinoe kneeled during the anthem last weekend at a Reign match in Chicago to express solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who did not stand for the anthem during the NFL preseason to bring attention to racial inequality.
On Wednesday during a match in Washington against the Spirit, the anthem was played before the teams took the field rather than "subject our fans and friends to the disrespect we feel such an act would represent," the team said in a statement citing the personal beliefs of team owner Bill Lynch. Spirit players collectively released a statement Friday saying that the team did not necessarily agree with the owner's opinions or actions.
Beverly Yanez and Keelin Winters both scored for the Reign in the victory over the Spirit in Seattle on Sunday night. The Reign got help in their bid for a playoff berth by the Portland Thorns, who held off the Western New York Flash 3-2 to earn home field advantage in the playoffs.