Pan Am Games: U.S. Athlete Kneels For National Anthem On Winner’s Podium

Race Imboden, an American fencer who won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, decided to follow in the steps of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and several others when he kneeled during the playing of the National Anthem.

The moment was internationally televised and the athlete took to Twitter after the event to share some of his intentions.

Imboden said he believes America has “shortcomings” which include President Trump, “racism, gun control, [and] mistreatment of immigrants.”

“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,” Imboden said in the tweet which also shared a photo of him kneeling on the winner’s podium.

In a follow-up tweet, Imboden said: “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.”

BizPac Review reports the kneeling may amount to a violation of previously agreed-upon terms which may cause him to face a penalty

According to the report, Vice President of Communications for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Mark Jones said in a statement: “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.”

“We respect his rights to express his viewpoints, but we are disappointed that he chose not to honor his commitment,” the statement continued via BizPac Review. “Our leadership are reviewing what consequences may result.”

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As for a countering point of view, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a former Navy SEAL who lost his right eye during a combat tour in Afghanistan, took great exception to what Imboden envisions as “sacrifice.”

The lawmaker repeated what millions of Americans feel in repudiating the clearly left-wing athlete for “politicizing” sports.

“If you think this is ‘sacrifice’, you are delusional,” Crenshaw tweeted. “All you’ve done is haphazardly denounced the entirety of our country because of its imperfections. You and your fellow athletes have only succeeded in politicizing one of the few things that still unite us: sports.”