“We must call for change,” he tweeted afterward along with a photo. “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, 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,” he said.
As Imboden knelt, his teammates Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin stood tall. Several members of the silver medalist Brazilian team saluted and Canada’s bronze-winning team stood quietly.
Both could face disciplinary action, as all participants signed agreements not to make any political, religious, or racial remarks during the Games.
US Olympic and Paralympic Committee spokesman Mark Jones said in a statement to CNN Sports that “every athlete competing at the 2019 Pan American Games commits to terms of eligibility, including to refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature. In these cases, the athletes didn’t adhere to the commitment they made to the organizing committee and the USOPC.”
“We respect their rights to express their viewpoints, but we are disappointed that they chose not to honor their commitment. Our leadership are reviewing what consequences may result,” Jones said.