US Olympic Gold Fencing Medalist Race Imboden Knelt During National Anthem at Pan American Games

US Olympic gold fencing medalist Race Imboden has joined the list of professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of racial and social injustices. At the Pan American Games, the fencing legend took a knee on stage surrounded by not only his teammates but competitors representing Canada and Brazil. He now follows the now-famous gesture, stating the importance of calling "for change" in the U.S.

"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," he wrote. "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 movement first became famous when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick led the front to show his solidarity with those facing injustices on a social and/or racial level.

The gesture was given to him by Nate Boyer, a United States Army Green Beret and former long-snapper at the University of Texas. The action spread quickly across the NFL with players and teams as a whole joining the cause, although it certainly brought controversy with it as well.

President Donald Trump joined those on the other side of the knee to argue it's disrespectful nature not only to the anthem, but flag and country as a whole. Kaepernick, who once reached the Super Bowl with the 49ers, has found himself without a future in the NFL, which many believe is due to his martyrdom in the cause.

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Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and Carolina Panthers defender Eric Reid are among the others who joined Kaepernick in the action before games and have faced similar criticism. Reid spent a good amount of time out of the league as well until Carolina signed him in 2018.

It should be noted that Imboden was not the only American athlete to protest at the Pan American Games, as U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist during the national anthem Saturday.

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