Cheers to Race Imboden and Gwen Berry

U.S. Athletes Take a Knee and Raise Black Power Fist in Protest of Injustice and Trump



From a reader

On August 9, Race Imboden, a white U.S. fencer, took a knee when the U.S. anthem was playing during the men’s foil team gold medal ceremony that was won by the American team at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

Imboden tweeted:

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, 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.

The next day, after U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry won the gold in her event at the Pan Am Games, she raised her fist (reminiscent of the Black Power salute by John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City) as the U.S. anthem was being played during the medal ceremony.

Berry said afterwards:

Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse…. If nothing is said, nothing will be done, and nothing will be fixed, and nothing will be changed.

The U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Committee is reportedly considering punishing Imboden and Berry for their righteous and courageous protests.

Gwen Berry


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