U.S. Women's National Team's and-American co-captain Megan Rapinoe said she felt "immense pride" when she protested the national anthem at the World Cup. Rapinoe was interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.
Anderson Cooper: "People still do not understand and criticize you for bringing - one person emailed me today saying, 'Politics into the game.' For you know, 'disrespecting the flag, the anthem, and the country.' That is what the criticism is."
Megan Rapinoe: "Yeah. It very much is that. I don't fully understand it either. Cause, umm... I think that taking care of others umm... standing up for yourself and other people umm... if they don't have the ability to do so is very unequally American. And I think everyone in America would say that. I think we have umm... a rich history and a pride in saying that and those words and often sometimes in doing that in the world. Umm.. and I think anybody can deny the horrors of racism and Jim Crow and mass incarceration and you know, what's happening on the southern border and gay rights and women's rights. It's like... I don't quite understand you know, sort of... where the miss is. Cause I think a lot of the people that disagree with me would benefit greatly from a world that is better for everyone."
Anderson Cooper: "You do not see it as disrespecting the flag or the anthem?"
Megan Rapinoe: "I do not. No. Umm... I think that protest is not comfortable ever. Umm... it's gonna make people uncomfortable. It's gonna umm... you know, force people to look inwards and umm... question umm... everything they thought that they knew. Umm... it's not convenient. It doesn't feel good really for anyone. Umm... even in those moments kneeling, umm... Those were some of the craziest personal moments that I've ever had. Umm... But that's what it takes. Progress is hard."
Anderson Cooper: "The moments kneeling were difficult for you?"
Megan Rapinoe: "Yeah, it was. It was heavy. Especially after the first time that I did it. Umm... knowing how angry people were. Umm... But also it was difficult and heavy but I had this immense sense of pride and responsibility in doing that."
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