On Friday August 26th San Francisco 49ers quarterback stood up, or sat down rather, for something that he felt passionate about. Less than two weeks later soccer player United States Women’s National Team and the Seattle Reign, Megan Rapinoe, followed suit. Perhaps the best part of this whole situation is how the world and the media reacted, or did not react.
Both players decided against honoring the National Anthem of the United States during the habitual playing of it before American sporting events. Kaepernick provided his reasoning in an interview with NFL Media following the game saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” After exemplifying her own form of silent protest by kneeling, Rapinoe said in an interview with American Soccer Now that her actions were completely intentional and were intended to support Kaepernick. She said that the reason for her support is due to the fact that she is gay and that she also feels discriminated against in this country.
Both professional players make over triple digits, and both players have been threatened by both media outlets and fans alike that their contracts will be terminated. This goes to show that both athletes were not protesting anything over than how minorities are treated in this country.
Although both athletes have been shown support from their teammates, coaches, and even Mr. President, the media has done the opposite. They have both been played out to be villans. One of the most destructive coverages of the event comes from online video host and conservative political commentator, Tomi Lahren. In her video titled “”If you don’t think I’ll say anything about soccer star Megan Rapinoe because she’s white, you thought wrong“, she makes a reference about people who are gay getting thrown off of buildings as a threat towards Rapinoe. Likewise, Kaepernick has also received criticism from Lahren.
The criticism does not seem to bother either Kaepernick or Rapinoe as they both declared that they will continue in silent protest until there is change in the way that minorities are treated in this country.