Americans have a hard time tolerating those who seek attention through anti-patriotism – we always have. We see the symbols of our nation as a tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States, and disrespecting these tributes leaves us in a quagmire of ugly emotions.
The case of former second string NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is undoubtedly the most notable example of what we’re discussing, as his choice to kneel during the National Anthem turned quickly became a national phenomenon. Not only had the protest spread throughout the NFL, but other major sports organizations were soon overrun with “kneelers”. Many saw the actions as offensive, and counter protests erupted – mostly in the form of boycotts.
Now, far removed from the gridiron, the kneeling has returned.
Race Imboden and two teammates were winners of gold in a team foil competition at the games in Lima, Peru, Friday and he took a knee on the podium at the medal ceremony.
He won the gold with teammates Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin, both of whom stood for the anthem.
The swordsman had a glut of reasons for his protest.
“We must call for change,” Imboden said afterward on Twitter. “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,” he said. “Racism, Gun Control, mistreatment of immigrants.”
The stunt comes just days after Colin Kaepernick himself reemerged into the spotlight, attempting to convince NFL owners that he was fit and ready to play in the league again in 2019.
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