US Gold Medalist Faces Disciplinary Action For Taking Knee During National Anthem

US Gold Medalist Faces Disciplinary Action For Taking Knee During National Anthem

advertisement - story continues below

United States gold medal winning fencer Race Imboden could face sanctions after kneeling during the medal ceremony of the Pan-Am Games, according to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

Imboden dropped down to one knee during the award ceremony on Friday at a political protest as the US flag was raised.

The 2016 Olympic team event bronze medalist and Tampa native took to Twitter explain the reasons for his actions.

“We must call for change,” he tweeted afterward along with a photo. “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.

advertisement - story continues below

“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,” he said.

Imboden, 26, was ranked as the world’s second-best in the foil event, and won a bronze medal in the men’s individual foil on Tuesday. On Friday, he helped the US win gold in the men’s foil team event, and then took a knee on the podium as the Star Spangled Banner played.

advertisement - story continues below

As Imboden knelt, his teammates Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin stood tall. Several members of the silver medalist Brazilian team saluted and Canada’s bronze-winning team stood quietly.

Taking a knee during the national anthem became a form of civil protest after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee throughout the 2016 football season in protest of police brutality and injustice against people of color. Since then, many athletes, from NFL players, to soccer star Megan Rapinoe to amateur high schoolers have knelt as a form of protest, sparking anger from Trump and others.Imboden was not the only American to protest during the anthem at the Pan American Games. Gwen Berry took gold in the women’s hammer throw competition on Saturday, and she raised her fist in the air at the end of the national anthem in protest.

Imboden was not the only American to protest during the anthem at the Pan American Games. Gwen Berry took gold in the women’s hammer throw competition on Saturday, and she raised her fist in the air at the end of the national anthem in protest.