Two American athletes were placed on one year of probation by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee this week after they protested the US national anthem during an official awards ceremony.
“Two U.S. athletes were given a year of probation by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) for staging protests while on the podium at the Pan American Games earlier this month, letters sent Tuesday revealed,” reports Fox News. Hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist and fencer Race Imboden took a knee while on the medal stand last week in Lima, Peru. All athletes at the Pan American Games and the Olympics agree to rules forbidding political protest.”
“It is also important for me to point out that, going forward, issuing a reprimand to other athletes in a similar instance is insufficient,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland wrote to the athletes.
“We recognize that we must more clearly define for Team USA athletes what a breach of these rules will mean in the future,” Hirshland added. “Working with the (athletes and national governing body councils), we are committed to more explicitly defining what the consequences will be for members of Team USA who protest at future Games.”
Read the full report at Fox News.
Original Story: August 12, 2019
A 26-year-old American fencer took a knee during the performance of the US national anthem in Peru Friday; protesting what he describes as “racial and social injustice” throughout the United States.
“Race Imboden, 26, an American fencer who won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, knelt during the national anthem at a Pan American Games award ceremony on Friday in Lima, Peru, to protest American racial and social injustice,” reports Yahoo News.
“This week I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan Am Games, taking home Gold and Bronze,” posted Imboden on social media. “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.”
We must call for change.
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, pic.twitter.com/deCOKaHQI9
— Race Imboden (@Race_Imboden) August 10, 2019
The athlete may face disciplinary action from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee for the protest.
“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,” said Mark Jones, Vice President of Communications at USOPC, in a statement on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. “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.”
Read the full report here.