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Meet the fencer who paid tribute to victims of racism

SUPPORT: Race Imboden (Photo credit: Instagram)

AN AMERICAN gold medalist fencer has paid tribute to victims of racism and gun violence in the United States.

Race Imboden knelt whilst the national anthem was being played at the PAN American Games in Lima, Peru, last week Friday, in protest of the continued racism, gun violence and mistreatment of immigrants in the country.

Along with a photo he tweeted, Imboden, 26, explained why he felt the need to protest on this platform:

“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, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list.”

Along with growing protests, led by groups such as the Black Lives Matter Movement demanding change in the treatment of African-Americans, there have also been calls to President Donald Trump to do the same to the current gun laws in light of the recent massacres in Dayton Ohio and El Paso Texas where many, including those from the Latino and Hispanic communities lost their lives.

Imboden went on to add: “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.”

Other athletes appeared to take notice of the demonstration as Gwen Berry, also an American, who took gold in the women’s hammer throw contest could be seen raising her fist in the air during at the end of the national anthem, mimicking the legendary image from the black panther movement, in protest of the continued mistreatment of African-Americans in the United States.

It is not the first time taking a knee during the national anthem has taken place. Former NFL Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick knelt down throughout the 2016 football season in protest of police brutality and injustice against African-Americans.

Speaking to NFL Media at time, Kaepernick said on the matter: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

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