US Olympic medalist faces discipline for taking knee after winning Pan-Am gold

Race Imboden could face sanctions for taking a knee during the medal ceremony at the Pan-Am Games, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said

United States gold medal winning fencer Race Imboden will face possible sanctions for taking a knee during the medal ceremony at the Pan-Am Games, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said on Saturday.


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Part of the United States gold medal winning squad in the team foil event, Imboden dropped to one knee during Fridays awards ceremony as the US flag was raised in a political protest.

Imboden, a Tampa native and 2016 Olympic team event bronze medalist, later explained his actions on Twitter.

Race Imboden and Miles Chamley-Watson took a knee during the anthem ceremony at the Pharoahs Challenge mens foil fencing World Cup in 2017. Photograph: Devin Manky/Getty Images

We must call for change, wrote Imboden. This week I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan-Am Games, taking home gold and bronze.

My pride however has been cut short by the multiple shortcomings of the country I hold so dear to my heart. Racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list.

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.

Athletes taking a knee has become a way of protesting injustice in the United States.

The protest was first started in 2016 by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to draw attention to police shootings of unarmed black men.


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Imbodens gesture preceded a similar protest on Saturday by American hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who raised her fist at the end of the national anthem after winning gold.

Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi)

U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry raises her fist at the end of the national anthem at the Pan Am Games today. (h/t @sergeta)

August 11, 2019

I love representing my country. America is a great country. Its the best country in the world, Berry told USA Today. However, what we are standing for right now, it is complete and utter its extreme injustice.

Both protests contravened an agreement all athletes on the US team signed that states they will not make remarks or release propaganda of political, religious or racial nature, or any other kind during the Games.

Every athlete competing at the 2019 Pan American Games commits to terms of eligibility, including to refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature, USOPC spokesman Mark Jones to Reuters in a statement.

In this case, Race didnt adhere to the commitment he made to the organizing committee and the USOPC. 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.

The USOPC released the identical statement in response to Berrys protest on Saturday.

It is unknown what discipline Imboden could face but could impact his chances of competing at next years Olympics, where protests of a political nature are also banned.

Imboden previously knelt during the anthem at a World Cup event in Egypt in 2017. His protest follows nine-times Olympic champion Carl Lewis branding US president Trump a racist and a misogynist during a press conference at the Games.

Original Article : HERE ;


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