Chelsea Women’s soccer player is taking a knee during the national anthem. She speaks out about why she did it.

“She’s with all her heart,” Magdalena Eriksson says of her partner Jess Carter. “It’s been really therapeutic for her and for us, to have that intimacy with each other.”

This week, Eriksson and Carter are the first Chelsea players to take a knee during the national anthem — not a decision the Swede and Brit made lightly, according to Eriksson.

Eriksson says both the players and the club were “madly worried” about the reaction to the move.

“We just wanted to make a statement,” Eriksson says. “Because we wanted to show how important our players feel about protesting what is going on in the world, how we wanted to speak up for those who don’t have a voice.”

“It’s important to have our country’s anthem and how we celebrate our country. But if that’s not what we feel, we want to be able to get out our voice and say: ‘No, this is what we want.’”

Perhaps most importantly, Eriksson and Carter say the decision did not exclude the Chelsea fans from the demonstration.

“It’s an act of solidarity,” Eriksson says. “We wanted to get everyone’s input and let everyone feel what this means to them.”

Eriksson says that as a parent, she has been affected by the spate of acts of domestic violence and brutality in this country.

“If you had a cousin or brother, what would you want them to do to each other?” she says. “I think everyone has experienced it. We need to be a united voice to make this better for everyone.”

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