17 June 2020

Crystal Dunn says she was scared to join Megan Rapinoe in taking a knee for the national anthem

US soccer star Crystal Dunn has said she wanted to join Megan Rapinoe in taking a knee in 2016 but was ‘scared’ for her career.

Rapinoe took the knee to show solidarity with National Football League star Colin Kaepernick who protested for racial inequality and police brutality.

Dunn said at a Bleacher Report roundtable: "I just remember our conversation where she came up to me and said, "Crys, I'm thinking of kneeling' and I remember being just filled with so much joy for her wanting to fight a cause that, in my opinion at that time was like, 'You have nothing to do with this'.

"That was ignorant on my part just thinking that off the bat. I was just so moved that she wanted to fight for this cause. 

"I also remember telling her that I had to stand because I don't know what's going to happen. I'm scared for my job. I'm scared that it's going to look differently if a black girl on the team kneels and I don't know.

"I just had really hard conversations with her, how I was internally conflicted and saw the way US Soccer responded and treated Megan. 

"To me, I'm thinking they kept her out of some games, kept her out of camp, and yeah that was mad, but for me, I was thinking that they could rip up my contract."

After Rapinoe’s protest, governing body US Soccer put a ban on athletes kneeling during the anthem. 

However, this ban was reversed last week in a move that followed the NFL in allowing players to make a political stand prior to games. 

This came as a result of the recent Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.

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