Tim Howard applauds the "movement" sparked by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but won't be following suit when the national anthem plays before the US national team's World Cup qualifier vs. Trinidad & Tobago in Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday night.
“I stand with my hand on my heart and belt that national anthem out,” the veteran Colorado Rapids and USMNT goalkeeper told reporters on Monday. “Having said that, I am 100 percent in favor of what Colin Kaepernick is doing. We’re all individuals. We have a right to do what we feel. Me, it’s what I’ve always done so I will continue to do that. It doesn’t mean I don’t agree with what he’s doing. I certainly do.”
Kaepernick spurred a national discussion in recent days with his decision to forgo standing during the US national anthem as a protest against racial injustice.
US women's national team star Megan Rapinoe followed his lead by kneeling during the anthem before her club team Seattle Reign FC's NWSL match in Bridgeview, Illinois, on Sunday, calling the gesture "a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now," and adding that she has experienced similar feelings to his.
“It’s great. Colin Kaepernick has started this movement and people are following suit and supporting him,” said Howard when asked about Rapinoe's actions. USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced last week that the Rapids 'keeper would start Tuesday's match, at which point he will set a new record for World Cup qualifying appearances, while his friend and rival Brad Guzan got the nod for Friday's 6-0 win at St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Toronto FC and US men's national team star Jozy Altidore has also commented on Kaepernick's gesture, last week telling Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, "I understand where he's coming from."