On Friday, three American fencers won gold at the Pan American Games in Peru – and one of them chose to use his platform to advocate for social change.
Race Imboden took a knee during the playing of the United States national anthemafter receiving his medal, joining the likes of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and USWNT superstar Megan Rapinoe who have made the move in the past.
“We must call for change,” Imboden said in a Twitter post on Friday. He listed racism, gun control and the treatment of immigrants among the “multiple shortcomings” he sees in the U.S. today.
On Monday, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills, who has knelt during the national anthem at NFL games previously and has said he will continue to do so, took to Instagram to praise Imboden’s move.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday morning to praise NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for ‘demanding’ that players stand for the national anthem prior to games.
However, the president’s interpretation of the commissioner’s letter was inaccurate, according to a statement released by the NFL.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter released the NFL’s statement, which can be read in full below:
Joel Ward will not kneel for the national anthem.
Ward, a right winger for the San Jose Sharks of the NHL, posted a lengthy statement to his Twitter account on Thursday after days of speculation about whether or not he may take a knee in solidarity with NFL players protesting social injustices. Ward is one of roughly 30 black players in the National Hockey League.
“As a black man, I have experienced racism both inside and outside of the sporting world,” Ward wrote. “Make no mistake that racism exists and that people of color are treated differently on a day-to-day basis.”