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Crystal Dunn: ‘I’m not just here to be in the background’

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USWNT star Crystal Dunn kicked off USA Today’s “10 to Watch” series ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, addressing her role on the national team and why she’s ready for the limelight.

“I am trying to let people know that I am not just here to be in the background,” Dunn says in the video. “I’m here to be spotlighted, I’m here to really make a big splash.”

As Dunn has grown as a soccer player, the 29-year-old has also gotten more comfortable using her platform to effect change.

“I think the more I gain confidence in my status, in my career, I felt like I do have an obligation to speak out and not just show up to train and play in games and then go home,” says Dunn, adding, “It is more than that, it’s me using my platform, it’s me advocating for more Black women in the sport and protection of Black women as a whole.

“The more we can have representation at the highest level, I think you’re going to find way more diversity in these upcoming years.”

The USWNT will face off against Sweden on July 21 in the team’s first match of the Tokyo Olympics.