Olympic Fencer Takes a Knee

"It was a moment for me to speak up." Here's why Olympic fencer Race Imboden kneeled during the national anthem at the Pan Am Games. 🤺

Making America the best place it can be for everyone

Olympic fencing champion Race Imboden took a knee to call for social change during the men’s foil team gold medal at the Pan-American Games. Imboden says he took a knee for racism, gun violence prevention, mistreatment of immigrants, and the rhetoric of President Trump. This was not the first time Imboden knelt during the anthem. Imboden reportedly also kneeled during the national anthem back in 2017, at a World Cup event in Egypt.

The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOPC) may take action against him for this most recent act of protest: A spokesperson for the national organization explained to NBC Sports that players agree before the Pan American Games to refrain from political statements and demonstrations. During his career with the U.S. national fencing team, Imboden has won 12 gold medals, one silver and two bronze in a combination of individual and team events. He is currently ranked by the International Fencing Federation as second in the world for men's foil.

“I understand people's disgust and I understand people's dislike of the act. But I do know that I didn't do it out of any distaste for the actual flag, or for our country, or anthem. I love our country. I love what it represents and I'm about making America the best place it can be for everyone including everyone in on all the things that make us great,” explains Race Imboden.

Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick popularized kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, calling out the oppression of minorities in the U.S. After his demonstration, the quarterback went unsigned during the 2017 pre-season, leading Kaepernick and his supporters to accuse the league of blacklisting him due to his political views. Also, at the Pan American Games, hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist during the Star-Spangled Banner after winning the gold. He hopes to inspire other young athletes to use their voice.


08/18/2019 11:57 AMupdated: 08/21/2019 2:29 PM


  • Laurie R.
    07/10/2021 15:11


  • Sam S.
    04/23/2021 17:40

    Another individual who doesn't care about the facts. It's all about opinions, ASSumptions, and feelings for these people. These people don't want the truth, they want an excuse.

  • Ville K.
    12/25/2020 14:15

    Murica : D

  • Anthony Y.
    08/09/2020 22:58

    He should be stripped of his medal. These athletes make an agreement not to make any political statements or gestures during the games or ceremonies. He violated that agreement. Tommie Smith and John Carlos had their medals taken away in 1968 for making a political statement during the National Anthem by raising a fist. Do the same to this spoiled brat.

  • Rafael R.
    09/02/2019 15:55

    Con personas como ese joven ese país tiene futuro como nación. Como imperio, creo que el camarada Tump...ito le está dando el último empujón hacia su declive definitivo. No puede ser la excepción entre todos todos los imperios que han existido en el planeta hasta la fecha.

  • Josh M.
    09/01/2019 18:06


  • Jeffery J.
    08/31/2019 01:18

    Thanks for kneeling.

  • Ty B.
    08/31/2019 00:16

    Who cares what these unicorn riding open border nobodies do for christs sake he is a fencer and probably has never even installed a real fence, the kind that actually has a purpose unlike his job of choice swinging a metal stick at another person. Useless

  • Warren G.
    08/30/2019 23:58

    You are a total disgrace and should have your medal revoked for your disgrace.

  • Richard M.
    08/30/2019 21:32

    These athletes are only social warriors when the cameras are rolling.

  • Teresa W.
    08/30/2019 11:01

    My question is....What do you do in your own time to support your reasons for taking the knee ???? Just like the others !!!!

  • Rodney N.
    08/30/2019 04:59

    Idiot. All he's done is make himself look dumb, and make the world laugh.

  • Fred E.
    08/30/2019 03:50

    "Speak up", you definitely mean speak down !...

  • Jeff S.
    08/30/2019 02:38

    Kneeling is a fake crappy stupid way to make a statement. These folks can make public statements go on news and talk shows and give interviews but disrespect is disrespect. Boo

  • Jay S.
    08/29/2019 22:22


  • Robert S.
    08/29/2019 19:40

    You suck!

  • Rick B.
    08/29/2019 03:16

    Its a free country . this guy is free to be as dumb as he wants to be. I kneel to return fire myself.

  • Keith M.
    08/28/2019 23:53


  • Paul P.
    08/28/2019 22:41


  • Debbie C.
    08/28/2019 15:37

    People before flags!

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