Crystal Dunn on why US women’s national team stood for anthem

The U.S. women’s national soccer team chose to stand for the national anthem before taking on Brazil in the SheBelieves Cup on Sunday.

American defender Crystal Dunn explained to reporters after the 2-0 win that the team didn’t feel like it was necessary to kneel and felt like they moved “past the protesting phase and actually move into putting all of the talk into actual work.”

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“I think those that were collectively kneeling felt like we were kneeling to bring about attention to police brutality and systemic racism. I think we decided that moving forward we no longer feel the need to kneel because we are doing the work behind the scenes. We are combating systemic racism. And we never felt we were going to kneel forever, so there was always going to be a time that we felt it was time to stand,” Dunn said, via ESPN. “I think we’re all proud that we are doing the work behind the scenes and it was just a game that we felt we were ready to move into the next phase and just continuously fight for change.”

Dunn added that the team’s choice to stand doesn’t mean the conversations are going to come to a halt.

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“Even though we are choosing to stand, it doesn’t mean that the conversations go away, or they stop,” she said. “It’s all to say that we are now, I think, ready to move past the protesting phase and actually move into putting all of the talk into actual work.”

It was the first time so far this year the U.S. team stood for the anthem.

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The U.S. beat Canada 1-0 in the opening match of the tournament.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.