The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced Monday that woke Team USA Olympic shot putter, Raven Saunders, did not violate any rules by putting her arms over her head in the form of an “X” while on the podium receiving her medal during the Tokyo Olympics Games.
When asked what the symbol meant, Saunders told the Associated Press it’s “the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”
After winning the silver medal, the Olympian, also known as “the Hulk,” pulled a stunt that appears to be the highest-profile protest thus far at the medal ceremony. She lifted her arms above her head during the anthem and pictures and formed an “X’ with her wrists. When asked about the demonstration, she said it was to honor the oppressed.
(INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
In response to Saunders, the USOPC announced that she did not break any rules. “As with all delegations, Team USA is governed by the Olympic Charter and rules set forth by the IOC for Tokyo 2020,” the USOPC said in a statement, according to the New York Post. The statement continued:
Per the USOPC’s delegation terms, the USOPC conducted its own review and determined that Raven Saunders’ peaceful expression in support of racial and social justice that happened at the conclusion of the ceremony was respectful of her competitors and did not violate our rules related to demonstration.
The USOPC, in its statement, noted that Saunders formed the “X” during a time in the ceremony where photographs are taken at the podium.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would be looking into Saunders. “We are in contact obviously with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee,” Mark Adams, spokesperson of the IOC, said Monday. “We are also in touch with World Athletics. We are looking into the matter and we now will consider our next steps.”
The Olympian, on Sunday night referencing her demonstration, tweeted, “Let them try and take this medal. I’m running across the border even though I can’t swim,” while also using the laughing emoji.
Let them try and take this medal. I’m running across the border even though I can’t swim 😂 https://t.co/B59N2v9KAk
— Raven HULK Saunders (@GiveMe1Shot) August 1, 2021
Breitbart News reported that the IOC changed the rules for players, allowing them to protests during appropriate times. The new guidelines from the games were to allow the Olympic athletes to “express their views” during interviews or press conferences and on social media. However, the new guidelines were meant to “preserve the competition” on the “Field of Play” during ceremonies, medal ceremonies, or in the Olympic Village.