The U.S Soccer Federation has repealed its rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem, but the USWNT most experienced black player still remembers the environment she faced when the rule was first put into place.
Dunn, who has appeared in 91 matches, discloses her perspective with Megan Rapinoe’s protests in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the reaction it sparked during a Bleacher Report round table talks on Goal.com.
Noting that she has had “countless” conversations with Rapinoe about racial injustice in the past, Dunn said she was afraid of the retribution she would face as a black player if she took a knee with Rapinoe:
”I just remember our conversation where she came up to me and said, ‘Crys, I’m thinking of kneeling.’ I remember being filled with so much joy for her wanting to fight a cause that, in my opinion at that time was like, ‘You have nothing to do with this.’ That’s ignorant on my part just thinking that off the bat, but I was so moved that she wanted to fight for this cause.
”I also remember telling her that I had to stand because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m scared for my job. I’m scared that it’s going to look differently if a black girl on the team kneels and I don’t know.
”I just remember having really hard conversations with her, how I was internally conflicted. I saw the way U.S. Soccer responded and treated Megan. To me, I’m thinking they kept her out of some games, kept her out of camps, and yes that was bad, but to me, I was thinking that they could rip up my contract, so I thought I was actually going to get it worse.
While Dunn is an experienced player now, she was in her first full year with the senior women’s team in 2016. Rapinoe certainly saw considerable blowback from those opposing Kaepernick as well as her own soccer federation.