The National Women's Soccer League kneel during National Anthem

Players of the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage knelt during the national anthem on Saturday.

The players wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts during warm-ups and they knelt for a moment of silence before the game.

Just before kickoff, the Courage and Thorns released a joint statement on their protest.

“We took a knee today to protest racial injustice, police brutality and systemic racism against black people and people of color in America. We love our country and we have taken this opportunity to hold it to a higher standard. It is our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms this nation was founded upon are extended to everyone,” the statement read.

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