Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) is letting loose on an American fencer for believing kneeling during the U.S. national anthem is a “sacrifice.”
While representing Team USA at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Olympian and three-time Pan American champion Race Imboden decided to kneel to protest “the multiple shortcomings of the country.”
Imboden noted on Friday that “racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list” of things he says must “change” in the U.S.
“I chose to sacrifie [sic] 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.”
and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list.
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.
— Race Imboden (@Race_Imboden) August 10, 2019
Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, taught Imboden that “if you think this is ‘sacrifice,’ you are delusional.”
The Republican lawmaker laid into the American fencer for “haphazardly [denouncing] the entirety of our country because of its imperfections.”
“You and your fellow athletes have only succeeded in politicizing one of the few things that still unite us: sports,” Crenshaw added.
In response to Imboden’s move, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Vice President of Communications Mark Jones said:
“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 this case, Race didn’t adhere to the commitment he made to the organizing committee and the USOPC. We respect his rights to express his viewpoints, but we are disappointed that he chose not to honor his commitment. Our leadership are reviewing what consequences may result.”
If you think this is “sacrifice”, you are delusional.
All you’ve done is haphazardly denounced the entirety of our country because of its imperfections.
You and your fellow athletes have only succeeded in politicizing one of the few things that still unite us: sports. https://t.co/Wpi9qdlQo3
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) August 12, 2019
During the weekend’s Pan Am Games, U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry also protested the national anthem by raising her fist at the end of it.
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) August 11, 2019
The Team USA players’ protest isn’t the only time a sports player has used the national anthem to take a stance on an issue.
Former National Football League 49ers player Colin Kaepernick has also caught attention while kneeling in protest of police brutality and racial inequality.
Kaepernick kicked off his protests during the 2016 season and has since sparked outrage for his appearance in a “sacrificing everything” Nike ad and reportedly causing Nike to pull a pair of shoes with the Betsy Ross flag on them.
President Donald Trump isn’t a fan of the kneeling during the anthem as he previously knocked NFL players for doing so, telling them: “Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”