Washington Spirit thwarts Megan Rapinoe’s 2nd national anthem protest attempt

Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States goes up for the ball against Sweden during the Women's Football Quarterfinal match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  (Photo by Celso Junior/Getty Images)

Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States goes up for the ball against Sweden during the Women's Football Quarterfinal match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo by Celso Junior/Getty Images)

BOYDS, Md. — Megan Rapinoe was stymied in a bid for a second national anthem protest Wednesday night when Washington’s National Women’s Soccer League team moved up the pregame ceremonies.

“We decided to play the anthem in our stadium ahead of schedule rather than subject our fans and friends to the disrespect we feel such an act would represent,” the Washington Spirit said in a statement.

On Sunday before the Seattle Rhein’s game in Chicago, Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem “in a little nod” to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — the San Francisco quarterback whose refusal to stand for the anthem to protest racial injustice and minority oppression came to public notice when he remained seated on the bench before a preseason game against Green Bay.

Rapinoe said on Twitter on Sunday it was the “least I can do. Keep the conversation going.”

Earlier Wednesday, the Reign said they are standing by Rapinoe, the midfielder who helped the U.S. win the World Cup last year and played in the Rio Olympics.

Read the full statement from the Washington Spirit here: