Alexi Lalas tweeted and then deleted this when players from the National Women’s Soccer League kneeled before a recent match: “Now it takes courage to actually stand for the national anthem.” Lalas had himself a full social media day and then the world moved on. Now comes the story of Rachel Hill, a player for the Chicago Red Stars who had to release a statement on why she was the only player standing for the anthem before a match against Orlando.
That’s right, Rachel is the pioneer when it comes to issuing a statement on why she stood for the anthem. “When I stood for the national anthem before the Chicago Red Stars’ most recent game, this was a decision that did not come easily or without profound thought,” Hill wrote. “Before the game, I was completely torn on what to do. I spoke with friends, family and teammates — of all races, religions and backgrounds — with the hope of guidance. I chose to stand because of what the flag inherently means to my military family members and me, but I 100% support my peers.”
“I support the Black Lives Matter movement wholeheartedly. I also support and will do my part in fighting against the current inequality. As a white athlete, it is way past due for me to be diligently anti-racist. … In this moment the black community needs us. I am ready to help with meaningful action that leads to everlasting change. Do I have all the answers to this? No. But we must start somewhere, and that’s my intent.”
Rachel Hill Chicago Red Stars pic.twitter.com/S4WjNHmCnW
— Von Cosmic (@voncosmic) June 28, 2020
Casey Short, the Red Stars player on two knees with Hill’s hand on her shoulder, issued a statement over all this saying she’s had conversations with Hill about the world they’re living in.
Our narrative ♥️ pic.twitter.com/VRJOpITuW9
— Casey Short (@CaseyShort3) June 30, 2020
I, Casey, can only speak for myself but the conversations I have had with players, specifically Rachel, have been unapologetically authentic. I have to ask where my hope lies. It lies in my faith and those types of conversations that have been long overdue. The types of conversations that are raw and uncomfortable, that can lead to real impactful change.