American fencer Race Imboden deserves induction into the "Hall of Shame" for kneeling on the victory stand at the Pan American Games and dishonoring his country on social media Friday. The Democratic Underground certainly loves his tweet blaming a "hateful" President for his pathetic protest, and Bleacher Report gave him a platform for encouraging other athletes to disrespect the U.S. flag.
Along with teammates Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin, Imboden helped the USA defeat Brazil, 45-23 in the team foil gold-medal match. Meinhardt and Itkin were the real heroes of the day Friday ― for standing, for representing the United States with dignity and for respecting all who sacrificed for the freedom we enjoy today.
Shamefully, Imboden proudly posted a photo of his despicable act on Twitter along with a sorry explanation:
"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.
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."
Imboden is a two-time fencing Olympian who won bronze at the 2016 Summer Games. Bleacher Report's Tim Daniels writes that Imboden took a knee as "a form of silent protest" during the medal ceremony to celebrate the Americans' gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.
Daniels continued, saying Imboden talked about following in the footsteps of another (former) athlete who deserves a spot in the Hall of Shame, who was none other than ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the other national anthem-protesting athletes:
"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 and changed. I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change."
Imboden is the top-ranked U.S. fencer and stands No. 3 in the world rankings. He ranks considerably lower than that in the view of American patriots for putting down his country on foreign soil.