American protest pair still in Tokyo running

Sports | REUTERS 22 Aug 2019

American athletes Race Imboden and Gwen Berry are on probation for 12 months after political protests at this month's Pan Am Games.

Fencer Imboden went on one knee and hammer thrower Berry raised a fist when the US anthem played at medal ceremonies. That violated a deal US athletes sign.

But probation means both will be eligible for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Sarah Hirshland, chief executive the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said any more protests will merit stiff punishments. She told the two athletes that "you could face more serious sanctions for any additional breach of our code of conduct than might otherwise be levied for an athlete in good standing."

After his protest in Peru, Imboden went online to explain his actions and seek change. For "taking a knee" is now a way of protesting injustice in the United States.

Berry's fist recalled the Olympics' most famous protest. Sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised fists during the 200 meters medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico Games.

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