Beginning in 2016, professional football player Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, knelt during the national anthem when it was played before National Football League (NFL) games, as a means of raising awareness of racial and social inequality and protesting police brutality against minorities. After becoming a free agent, Kaepernick experienced difficulty being hired by another NFL team and formally lodged a legal case against the NFL. In 2018, Nike signed Kaepernick as a spokesperson, a decision that sparked ongoing controversy. President Donald Trump publicly condemned Kaepernick, while multiple small religious colleges canceled their contracts with Nike. Other athletes, including Megan Rapinoe, captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, which won the World Cup in 2019, have risen to Kaepernick’s defense.