Team USA fencer Race Imboden took a knee as a form of silent protest Friday during the medal ceremony to celebrate the Americans' gold medal in the team foil competition at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.
Imboden explained his decision on Twitter:
Race Imboden @Race_Imboden
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, https://t.co/deCOKaHQI9
The 26-year-old Florida native is a two-time Olympian who took home a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Games in team foil.
He further discussed following in the footsteps of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the other athletes who've taken a knee during the United States' national anthem in recent years in an Instagram post where he called Donald Trump a "president who spreads hate."
"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 and changed," Imboden wrote. "I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change."
Imboden teamed with Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin to score a dominant 45-23 victory over Brazil in the gold-medal match.
Neither Meinhardt nor Itkin joined Imboden in his protest.