What We Know:
- While the National Anthem played in the background, Gwen Berry raised her fist and Imboden chose to take a knee on the medal stand.
- Prior to participating in this year’s Pan American Games, athletes were required to sign agreements which prohibited them from making any political, religious, or racial remarks or demonstrations during any part of the games.
- Gwen Berry says that she was protesting social injustice in America, and “that is was too important to not say something.”
- In a tweet sent shortly after his team’s medal ceremony at the Pan Am Games, race Imboden said “racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list” of issues that need to be addressed.
- Us Olympic & Paralympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Sarah Hirshland wrote to hammer thrower Gwen Berry and fencer Race Imboden saying “while I respect your perspective – and that of every athlete for whom I’m lucky enough to serve – I disagree with the moment and manner in which you choose to express your views.”
- Despite being placed on a 12 month probation, both athletes will be eligible to return just in time for the Olympics next summer.
A letter to 2 athletes who broke the rules forbidding political protest included a none-too-subtle signal for anyone vying for next year’s Olympics https://t.co/utmha29zHX
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 21, 2019
Hirshland hinted on there being “more serious sanctions” for other athletes who chose not to abide by the established agreements going forward.