US Fencer Punished for Anti-American Kneeling Stunt, Other Athletes Warned
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee issues warnings about 'protests'
Two United States athletes have been punished for anti-American protests during the Pan American Games earlier this month.
Hammer thrower Gwen Berry and fencer Race Imboden made headlines for protesting while on the podium during the games.
The pair has been given a year of probation by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) for staging the public stunts, letters sent Tuesday revealed.
Berry raised her fist and Imboden took a knee while on the medal stand last week in Lima, Peru.
According to Fox News, all athletes at the Pan American Games and the Olympics agree to rules forbidding political protest.
The committee also warned other athletes that future protests could face more serious consequences.
"It is also important for me to point out that, going forward, issuing a reprimand to other athletes in a similar instance is insufficient," USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland wrote in the letters, which were obtained by the Associated Press.
"We recognize that we must more clearly define for Team USA athletes what a breach of these rules will mean in the future," Hirshland wrote.
"Working with the (athletes and national governing body councils), we are committed to more explicitly defining what the consequences will be for members of Team USA who protest at future Games."
The most publicized protest was Race Imboden of the United States taking a knee on August 9, 2019.
Imboden pulled the kneeling stunt as his teammates Mick Itkin and Gerek Meinhardt stood on the podium after winning the gold medal in team's foil, at the sporting event in Lima, Peru.
After his protest, Imdoen tweeted “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.
We must call for change.— Race Imboden (@Race_Imboden) August 10, 2019
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
and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list.— Race Imboden (@Race_Imboden) August 10, 2019
I chose to sacrifie 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.
Berry said she was protesting social injustice in the United States.
It was "too important to not say something,” she said.
Both athletes are eligible for the Olympics next year in Tokyo.