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Everyone needs allies.
The conversation around Race Imboden’s decision to kneel on the podium during the Pan American Games last week is still ongoing. The 26-year-old white fencer that took home a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics for Team USA, took a knee during the national anthem last Friday in Lima, Peru against social and racial injustices.
“This week I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan Am Games, taking home Gold and Bronze,” he wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Imboden would go on to share how the events of the past few years have changed the way he looks at America, and how that has affected the amount of pride he feels whenever he’s on the podium.
“Over the last few years I’ve started to come to different beliefs that have kind of hurt that pride,” he explained. “And some of those things are what I listed, which are racism, mistreatment of immigrants, as well as our President and the things that he’s been representing.”
Imboden is not the first white athlete to kneel or demonstrate in peaceful protest during the anthem, and hopefully, he won’t be the last.
Below you will find a few more of our Caucasian brothers and sisters that have joined the fight against injustice.
Even before she was throwing shots at Trump and showing out at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe was walking the walk. In 2016, she became the first white female athlete to take a knee when she did it before a game against the Chicago Red Stars.
“I think that protest is not comfortable ever,” she recently told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “It’s going to force people to look inward and question everything they thought that they knew.”
In August of 2017, the former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end put his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins in a show of unity while Jenkins’ fist was raised during the anthem.
“It’s just telling Malcolm, ‘I am here for you,’ and I think it’s a good time for people who look like me to be here for people fighting for equality,” Long said.
Many people tend to overlook the Cleveland Browns tight end, but history won’t. Back in 2017, DeValve became the first white player in the NFL to take a knee when he did it before a preseason game against the New York Giants.
“We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are things in this country that still need to change. I, myself, will be raising children that don’t look like me and I want to do my part as well to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now,” he explained, as he’s married to Erica Harris DeValve. a black woman.
A few weeks after DeValve took a knee, Bills’ kicker Stephen Haushcka, and Seattle Seahawks’ center Justin Britt, also spoke out against racism and inequality in the country.
Maggie Lucas & Jeanette Pohlen
When the entire roster of the Indiana Fever decided to kneel before a game in 2016, it meant that Lucas and Pohlen did too. And while the two didn’t even play during the game, their demonstration shouldn’t be forgotten.
“Something like this creates conversation, and that’s how we create change,” said former Fever head coach Stephanie White, who is also White. “We don’t create change by seeing it on the news and waiting until next time. People who have the platforms have the ability to affect change, and I’m proud of our group for using the platform in a respectful manner.”
Shout outs to former Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen who sat in solidarity with her teammates during a press conference when they spoke out about the killing of Philando Castile.
And to former Jets quarterback Josh McCown that went with Malcolm Jenkins, Glover Quin, Andrew Hawkins, and Anquan Boldin to Washington to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill about politics, legislation, race relations, and police brutality.
The marathon continues.