Each year there are a few stories that completely transcend the sports universe and become national news stories. In case you haven’t noticed, the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem, is one of those stories.
Since he took a stand for what he thought was right by taking a seat, countless pundits have weighed in on the controversy while multiple players have followed Kaepernick’s lead by either supporting him publicly or joining him in sitting or kneeling for the anthem.
Abby Wambach is one of the most well-known and highly-regarded U.S. soccer players and one of her former U.S. women’s national team teammates, Megan Rapnioe, has been making waves with her plans to protest the anthem similarly to Kaepernick.
“There’s a lot of conversation and there’s a lot of stuff going on and I think that’s what both (Megan) and Colin were trying to get out of it,” Wambach told Rapaport. “I believe that as an American citizen, we all are allowed and should feel free to exercise our right to protest. For me, it’s been an evolution since Colin didn’t stand for the national anthem at first because I’m so patriotic. I value the American flag, I value our national anthem because I’ve represented my country for so many years. I bleed red, white and blue, so it was really hard for me to swallow, even being the most liberal person, maybe, that I know.”
“Over the past couple of weeks since that’s happened and even Megan’s deal recently, it’s made me evolve. It’s made me understand a little bit more recently and it made me want to have these conversations. And I think that’s the point whether you agree or disagree with their methods to get the conversation started.”
Even though Wambach wouldn’t choose the same methodology for protest as her former teammate, she still admitted to Rapaport that it’s hard to deny the tactic’s effectiveness.
“I don’t want to put anything on blast to get my point across,” Wambach said. “I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus, I don’t want to do anything disrespectful. I think there are more positive and constructive ways to do it, but, man… we’re talking about it. Look at us. So I don’t know what’s right, and I don’t know what’s wrong, but I think the conversation is what’s right, and that’s what’s important.
Click here to listen to the full interview with Abby Wambach and for more episodes of the I AM RAPAPORT: STEREO PODCAST.