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Anthem Protests Find a New Venue

Fencer Race Imboden kneels at Pan-Am Games, while hammer thrower Gwen Berry raises her fist
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2019 8:58 AM CDT
Race Imboden of the US gives a thumbs up during his men's individual foil fencing semifinal match against Chile's Gustavo Alarcon at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) NFL players and Megan Rapinoe aren't the only American athletes protesting during the national anthem: Race Imboden, a US fencer and Olympic medalist, is in hot water with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee after taking a knee as the American flag was raised after he and his teammates won gold medals at the Pan-Am Games. "I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan-Am Games," wrote Imboden. "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."

The USOPC says Imboden will likely face sanctions over the gesture, but the Guardian reports that he wasn't alone in his protest at the Pan-Am Games: American hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist during the national anthem on Saturday after she won her own gold. (Read more national anthem stories.)

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