Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest has started a ripple effect across the sports spectrum, reaching other NFL players, soccer stars and even high school student athletes. On Wednesday, his protest trickled into the Missouri Legislature.
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, refused to stand while her colleagues recited the Pledge of Allegiance in the state Capitol. She said her silent protest on the Senate floor was intended to show solidarity with the San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
Kaepernick has kneeled for the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and what he has described as social injustice against minorities in the U.S. Nasheed, who is black, said she wants to call attention to those issues and isn’t “anti-America.” Nasheed’s protest was met with silence in the chamber.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a former GOP candidate for governor who presided over the Senate Wednesday, released a statement calling Nasheed's protest an "occasion for great sorrow." He said he worried about "the example she is setting, particularly for our young people."
U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who already drew controversy for kneeling during the National Anthem before a club match, knelt again before the U.S. match against Thailand Thursday.
After the game, which the United States won 9-0, U.S. Soccer issued a statement to ESPN that said representing the country is a "privilege and honor" for any play or coach associated with the national teams.
"Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men's and Women's National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country.
"As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the National Anthem is played."
It was unclear whether Rapinoe would face any sanctions from the federation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.