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US Fencer Takes Knee at Pan Am Games in Protest



A member of the U.S. men’s fencing team staged a national anthem protest at the Pan American Games, saying, “We must call for change.”

Race Imboden and two teammates were winners of gold in a team foil competition at the games in Lima, Peru, Friday and he took a knee on the podium at the medal ceremony.

He won the gold with teammates Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin, both of whom stood for the anthem.

“We must call for change,” Imboden said afterward on Twitter. “This week I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan Am Games, taking home Gold and Bronze.”

Gold medalist Race Imboden of United States takes a knee during the National Anthem Ceremony in the podium of Fencing Men's Foil Team Gold Medal Match Match on Day 14 of Lima 2019 Pan American Games at Fencing Pavilion of Lima Convention Center on August 09, 2019 in Lima, Peru. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez/Getty Images)

“My pride however has been cut short by the multiple shortcomings of the country I hold so dear to my heart,” he said. “Racism, Gun Control, mistreatment of immigrants.”

The political protest could lead to disciplinary action by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

“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,” Mark Jones, Vice President of Communications, USOPC said in a statement on Saturday.

“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.”

Colin Kaepernkick sparked controversy—and the wrath of President Trump—after kneeling during the national anthem in a protest against racial injustice.

His protest led to similar protests by athletes in other sports.

Imoden, 26, won an Olympic bronze medal in Rio De Janeiro three years ago.

A version of this story appears on the Fox News website.

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  • LJ says:

    He should be kicked off the team…he doesn’t represent America and its long history of what our flag and anthem stand for.


    He should be removed from the team. He does not represent our country.

  • Diana says:

    Throw him off the team done with these disgusting disgraceful argent Un-Americans asses my tax money helps these athletes if they can’t be great full to even being on a American team then get them gone, sick of disrespecting asses, that includes all politicians cops judges, sport players really shut them all down we don’t watch football anymore so shut them down save a lot money

  • Sena Nugf says:

    WOW really fencing, must have been 1000000s watching!
    2 seconds of no one noticing.

  • Charles says:

  • Gary Schuy says:

    Only one way to deal with grandstanding Athletes like him.Throw him off the Team. He disgraced the Country and the Flag for his personal gain.

  • LJP says:

    Looks like a fool.

  • kat says:

    Throw that ungrateful jackass off the team.

  • stevor says:

    he’s using his right to be a MORON! Keep showing you’re a moron, dude!

  • 2WarAbnVet says:

    So, a typical Democrat.

  • William Conley says:

    Be glad you can make a living playing with a blunted light weight sword and stand up and respect your damn nations flag you little bitch. I’m beyond sick of this shit did anyone else see other nations athletes and I use the term loosely disrespecting their nations flag? This clown signed an agreement directly stating he wouldn’t do this shit and he does it. I hope they revoke any and all awards he’s ever received force him to pay back every penny they ever spent on him or gave to him, and then banned for life from any Olympic sport and black listed in fencing world wide.

  • VietnamVeteran says:

    Just another worthless, leftist traitor spitting on the flag and millions of veterans who served under that flag. Throw him off the team.

  • CCSRAS says:

    To all protesting athletes…if you want to play the game do it and take your right to protest elsewhere. To officials….get rid of them, make rules and stick to them. The reason those athletes have those opinions is that we have rules/laws in our country that we did not stick to. Result will be chaos and US being just like the 3rd world countries people are fleeing.

  • J says:

    He’s nothing but a worthless little bitch!

  • Ferrari Driver says:

    He may be honored to represent the U.S., but we aren’t honored to have him do so.

  • Char says:

    Send him home, he is representing the US. If he can’t, select another athlete! THIS in another country! SHAME!

  • Lee Price says:

    Enough!!! You broke your contract. Gone! Now I want to see what his lame ass will do for a living. Better yet, Venezuela is looking for people with gold. If it were me, and/or our government, every athlete or sports person that does this, would have to spend a mandatory 3 months in Venezuela. They would get the “no frills” tour of what “oppression” is. All they would get is a monthly stipend, about half of what our military personnel get, and a meeting point to be in 3 months time. Then, and only then, I want to hear from them about how “oppressed” they are.

  • RWF