“I thought a lot about it, read a lot about it and just felt, How can I not kneel too?”
In TIME’s upcoming cover story on Colin Kaepernick and the spread of national anthem protests around sports, U.S. women’s national soccer team midfielder Megan Rapinoe explained her decision to kneel during the song.
“I thought a lot about it, read a lot about it and just felt, How can I not kneel too?” Rapinoe, who is openly gay, told TIME. “I know what it’s like to look at the flag and not have all your rights.”
Rapinoe opted to kneel ahead of the national team’s recent match against Thailand after doing so for a prior NWSL contest. U.S. Soccer released a statement during the game saying it did not agree with her choice.
Athletes around the country have begun to protest in different ways, and are speaking out further in wake of recent police killings of black men.
Read the whole story in the Oct. 3 issue of TIME.