During the opening weekend of the National Women's Soccer League (NSWL) tournament, players began to kneel as the U.S. National Anthem played in the background. Prior to this game, the NSWL issued a statement affirming that players, officials,and other stakeholders could have the option to kneel or to be on or off the field when the anthem played. Compared with the backlash against former NFL player Colin Kaepernick a few years ago, this time, there is a greater understanding of the intersection between sports and race. Players of the North Carolina Courage and the Portland Thorns NWSL clubs share why they decided to kneel: "We took a knee today to protest racial injustice, police brutality and systemic racism against Black people and people of color in America. We love our country and we have taken this opportunity to hold it to a higher standard. It is our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms this Nation was founded upon are extended to everyone."