While representing the championship Team USA at he Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, American fencer Race Imboden took a knee during the National Anthem while on the championship podium, in a call for “social change.”
Imboden’s tweet has been retweeted by thousands of people, including Colin Kapernick:
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 reaction has been strong on both sides #raceimboden
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know that people are going to be very angry, but I hope you hear us cheering you on too!!
— Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein 🙅🏽♀️ 🇧🇧🏳️🌈 (@IBJIYONGI) August 11, 2019
The full statement read:
“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.” ~ @Race_Imboden
SUPPORT #RaceImboden for his defiant step vis-a-vis blatant power-abuse and maltreatment of human beings by his own government@Race_Imboden @kirkacevedo @jesseleesoffer @BernieSanders pic.twitter.com/tITyB3e8X9
— Malotruc (@Volterre_) August 11, 2019
But, not everyone was in support of Imboden’s actions:
ANY PERSON ON A NATIONAL TEAM WHO REFUSES TO STAND FOR THEIR NATION’S ANTHEM SHOULD NO LONGER BE ON THE NATIONAL TEAM!
— S D Rolyat (@rolyat_d) August 11, 2019
How embarrassing to our country
— Andrea (@alstoner14) August 11, 2019
Race Imboden (born April 17, 1993) is an American foil fencer and menswear fashion model. A three-time Pan American champion, he took part in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2016 Summer Olympics. (Wikipedia)