Rachel Hill was one of the National Women’s Soccer League players who did not kneel during the national anthem when the league started its season over the weekend.
Hill was seen standing next to Casey Short and Julie Ertz as her Chicago Red Stars teammates knelt and embraced during the anthem. On Tuesday, Hill explained that she chose not to kneel while still supporting the protests across the U.S. against racial injustice and police brutality.
“I chose to stand because of what the flag inherently means to my military family members and me, but I 100% percent support my peers. Symbolically, I tried to show this with the placement of my hand on Casey’s shoulder and bowing my head. I struggled, but felt that these actions showed my truth, and in the end I wanted to remain true to myself,” Hill said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“If this wasn’t clear, let my words and further actions be. 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.”