Megan Rapinoe dedicates her 'Woman of the Year' speech to Colin Kaepernick
American professional soccer player, Megan Rapinoe, paid tribute to San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick while accepting a Glamour Women of the Year award on Monday.
Rapinoe, who is also known for her activism, began by thanking the person "I don’t feel like I would be here without," who she then named as Kaepernick.
Colin Kaepernick recently celebrated his 32nd birthday by helping the homeless in Oakland:
Rapinoe proceeded to describe the football player as "someone whose courage and bravery was so bright and so bold, a person filled with conviction, unafraid of the consequences because he knew it really wasn’t about playing it safe, it was about doing what was necessary and backing down to exactly nobody."
"So while I’m enjoying all of this unprecedented, and frankly, a little bit uncomfortable attention and personal success in large part due to my activism off the field, Colin Kaepernick is still effectively banned," she continued.
Back in 2016, during the 49ers third preseason game, Kaepernick was seen sitting down during the national anthem, instead of standing. In a post-game interview, he explained the reason for his choice, stating "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour."
"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder," he continued, alluding to the number of African-American people who have died at the hands of law enforcement, and the Black Lives Matter movement which was subsequently set in motion.
In ensuing preseason games, the 32-year-old opted to kneel during the Star Spangled Banner, in an attempt to show more respect to US military members.
The NFL has since been accused of blackballing the football player as he has remained unsigned after becoming a free agent following the 2016 season.
"It would be a slap in the face to Colin and to so many other faces not to acknowledge, and for me personally to work relentlessly, to dismantle that system that benefits some over the determent of others and frankly is, quite literally, tearing us apart in this country," Rapinoe continued in her acceptance speech.
"I’m not gonna act like my whiteness has nothing to do with me standing before you now," she noted before concluding "This is such a pivotal moment for us. There is so much momentum, but we have to move forward and we have to be better.
Rapinoe has also used her influence as a means of protest. In 2016, the Reign FC captain became the first high-profile white, female athlete to stand in solidarity with Kaepernick by kneeling during the national anthem prior to a game.