A member of the U.S. men’s fencing team took a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner on Friday, at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
Race Imboden an Olympic medalist and member of the U.S. men’s foil team, took a knee after his team won the gold at the games. He also took to Twitter to exclaim how ashamed he is of the United States, the Washington Post reported.
“Racism, Gun Control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list,” Imboden tweeted. “I chose to [sacrifice] my moment today at the top of the podium to call attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed. I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change”
and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list.
I chose to sacrifie my moment today at the top of the podium to call attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed. I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change.
— Race Imboden (@Race_Imboden) August 10, 2019
Imboden now shares a bronze with Canadian Maximilien van Haaster for men’s foil and was part of the U.S. team’s gold win in team foil at this year’s Pan Am Games.
Mark Jones, vice president of communications for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, issued a statement noting that Imboden violated the rules of the games with his protest against the United States.
“Every athlete competing at the 2019 Pan American Games commits to terms of eligibility, including to refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature. In this case, Race didn’t adhere to the commitment he made to the organizing committee and the USOPC,” Jones said.
“We respect his rights to express his viewpoints, but we are disappointed that he chose not to honor his commitment. Our leadership are reviewing what consequences may result,” Jones added.
Imboden’s teammates, Gerek Meinhardt, and Nick Itkin, both stood at attention during the national anthem.
One other U.S. athlete also protested in Peru this year. On Saturday, U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised a black power fist during the national anthem.
Gwen Berry "raised her fist as America’s national anthem was played to honor her win in the hammer throw. She called out injustice in America 'and a president who’s making it worse.'"
“It’s too important to not say something," she said.https://t.co/RKm0O3V4mC
— Hayley Miller (@hayleymiller01) August 11, 2019
“Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse,” Berry told the media.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.