US athletes who protested during national anthem at Pan Am Games get 12-month probation

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Two U.S. athletes who protested during the national anthem at the Pan American Games earlier this month have been given formal reprimands.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced Tuesday that American fencer Race Imboden and hammer thrower Gwen Berry would each be given 12 months of probation, according to The Associated Press.

Images that went viral earlier this month showed Imboden kneeling on the stand during the medal ceremony, while Barry raised her fist on the podium. Both athletes said the demonstration was aimed at protesting racial and social injustice.

{mosads}“I disagree with the moment and manner in which you chose to express your view,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said, adding that she respected the athlete’s perspective on the issue.

She added that “going forward, issuing a reprimand to other athletes in a similar instance is insufficient.”

U.S. athletes signed forms agreeing to follow rules that forbid acts of political protest at international events, according to the AP.

Both athletes received the news of their probation in letters of reprimand, which were obtained by the news outlet.

“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,” Imboden said on Twitter after the incident. “I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change.”

Neither athlete was sanctioned at the event, and both will be eligible to compete in the Olympics next summer.


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