Speed Reads

sports and politics

2 American athletes protested at the Pan American Games. The Olympic committee is not happy.

Two American athletes now face possible discipline after they staged silent protests at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, this weekend.

Fencer Race Imboden took a knee on the medal stand as his U.S. men's foil team celebrated gold on Friday. He said he was "honored" to represent the U.S. at the games, but the country's "multiple shortcomings" concerning racism, gun control, and President Trump, among other things, caused him to sacrifice the moment on the stand.

Meanwhile, hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised a fist during the playing of the Star-Spangled on Saturday after she won her event.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee was not thrilled with the displays. Mark Jones, the organization's vice president of communications, said in a statement to ESPN on Sunday that refraining from political demonstrations is a term of eligibility on the Olympic circuit. "In these cases, the athletes didn't adhere to the commitment they made to the organizing committee and the USOPC," he said. The USOPC is reviewing what consequences may result.

Still, political protests have occurred not infrequently at international sporting events. Perhaps most famously, U.S. track-and-field stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the Star-Spangled Banner at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to highlight racial tensions in the United States at the time.