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Megan Rapinoe says will respect US Soccer's new anthem rules

March 6 (Reuters) - Megan Rapinoe said on Monday she will respect a new U.S. Soccer Federation policy requiring national team players to stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem rather than kneel as a sign of protest.

Rapinoe, who played on the U.S. team that won the 2015 Women's World Cup and won gold at the 2012 Olympics, protested social inequality by kneeling during the national anthem ahead of two games last year.

U.S. Soccer revealed on Saturday that its board of directors passed a policy that required players representing the national team to "stand respectfully" during national anthems.

RELATED: US Women's Soccer Team

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Alex Morgan, USA women's soccer
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Alex Morgan, USA women's soccer
(TOP ROW FROM LEFT): USA defender Ali Krieger, forward Alex Morgan, defender Becky Sauerbrunn, goalkeeper Hope Solo, midfielder Lauren Holiday and defender Julie Johnston. (BOTTOM ROW FRO LEFT): USA midfielder Tobin Heath, midfielder Carli Lloyd, midfielder Morgan Brian, defender Meghan Klingenberg and midfielder Megan Rapinoe pose during the semi-final football match between USA and Germany during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal on June 30, 2015. USA won 2-0. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 30: Alex Morgan #13 of the United States reacts with teammate Meghan Klingenberg #22 after Morgan was fouled in the box in the second half against Germany in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Semi-Final Match at Olympic Stadium on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 30: Annike Krahn of Germany blocks Alex Morgan of the United States in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Semi-Final Match at Olympic Stadium on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 30: Alex Morgan #13 of the United States runs ahead of Lena Goessling #20 of Germany in the second half in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Semi-Final Match at Olympic Stadium on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 30: Alex Morgan of the United States and Annike Krahn of Germany battle for the ball in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Semi-Final Match at Olympic Stadium on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
USA forward Alex Morgan (R) vies with Germany's defender Annike Krahn (C) during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup semi-final football match between USA and Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal on June 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 29: Alex Morgan of the U.S. answers questions during a news conference at Olympic Stadium on June 29, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
USA forward Alex Morgan reacts during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup semi-final football match between USA and Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal on June 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
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"It is an honor to represent the USA and all that we stand for -- to be able to pull on the red, white and blue to play a game that I love," Rapinoe, 31, said in a statement.

"I will respect the new bylaw the leadership at USSF has put forward. That said, I believe we should always value the use of our voice and platform to fight for equality of every kind."

Protests during the U.S. national anthem have been a hot-button issue since last August, starting with the decision by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing.

Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and many athletes from other sports followed his lead in various ways, including linking arms during the anthem.

RELATED: Women's World Cup soccer parade

21 PHOTOS
Women's World Cup soccer parade
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Women's World Cup soccer parade
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: The World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team, including Abby Wambach (Top L), celebrates along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (C), as they make their way up the The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall.( Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrates the Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team at a City Hall ceremony following a New York City Ticker Tape Parade for World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Thousands of fans cheer as the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team make their way up the The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
USA women's soccer team midfielder Megan Rapinoe (C) holds up the World Cup 2015 trophy as midfielder Carli Lloyd (L), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and head coach Jill Ellis (R) wave to the crowd during the ticker tape parade in New York on July 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Members of the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer cheer as they make their way up The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
USA women's soccer team midfielder Carli Lloyd takes a selfie with the World Cup 2015 trophy during the ticker tape parade in New York on July 10, 2015, to celebrate the team's World Cup victory. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
USA women's soccer team midfielder Megan Rapinoe (C) holds the World Cup 2015 trophy on her head during the ticker tape parade in New York on July 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
USA women's soccer team fans cheer during the ticker tape parade in New York on July 10, 2015 celebrating the team World Cup victory. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Alexis Morgan, Mayor Bill De Blasio, Megan Rapinoe and Chirlane McCray during New York City Holds Ticker Tape Parade For World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Members of the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team celebrate as they make their way up The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Members of the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team, including Whitney Engen (Right) are viewed as crowds cheer as they make their way up The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Members of the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team celebrate as they make their way up the The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: (L-R): Soccer player Carli Lloyd, Mayor Bill de Blasio, soccer player Megan Rapinoe, Chirlane McCray and U.S. Coach Jill Ellis aboard a float in the New York City Ticker Tape Parade for World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: A general view of the atmosphere during the New York City Ticker Tape Parade for World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Members of the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer cheer as they make their way up The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Thousands of fans cheer as the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team make their way up the The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Thousands of fans cheer as the World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team make their way up the The Canyon of Heroes along Broadway during a ticker-tape parade on July 10, 2015 in New York City. Following the parade the team celebrated at ceremony at City Hall. According to city records, New York City has hosted 205 parades since 1886 along the Canyon of Heroes, which is located along Broadway between the Battery and City Hall. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: (L-R): Mayor Bill de Blasio, soccer players Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, Chirlane McCray and U.S. Coach Jill Ellis aboard a float in the New York City Ticker Tape Parade for World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Soccer players Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe in the New York City Ticker Tape Parade for World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Soccer player Abby Wambach in the New York City Ticker Tape Parade for World Cup Champions U.S. Women's Soccer National Team on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
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