BOYDS, Md. (AP) — Megan Rapinoe was stymied in a bid for a second national anthem protest Wednesday night when Washington's National Women's Soccer League team moved up the pregame ceremonies.

"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 Washington Spirit said in a statement.

On Sunday before the Seattle Rhein's game in Chicago, Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem "in a little nod" to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — the San Francisco quarterback whose refusal to stand for the anthem to protest racial injustice and minority oppression came to public notice when he remained seated on the bench before a preseason game against Green Bay.

Earlier Wednesday, the Reign said they are standing by Rapinoe, the midfielder who helped the U.S. win the World Cup last year and played in the Rio Olympics.