Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw scolded an American Olympic athlete over the weekend after he knelt as the national anthem was played before the Pan American Games — a demonstration the athlete said was made to highlight America’s flaws.
“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,” USA fencer Race Imboden tweeted. “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. I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change.”
Crenshaw, a U.S. Navy Seal and Texas native, said that Imboden’s words ring hollow and out-of-touch.
“If you think this is ‘sacrifice’, you are delusional,” he responded.”All you’ve done is haphazardly denounced the entirety of our country because of its imperfections.”
If you think this is “sacrifice”, you are delusional.
All you’ve done is haphazardly denounced the entirety of our country because of its imperfections.
You and your fellow athletes have only succeeded in politicizing one of the few things that still unite us: sports. https://t.co/Wpi9qdlQo3
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) August 12, 2019
Kneeling during the national anthem before sporting events is a trend started by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. President Trump and other conservatives have criticized Kaepernick and other athletes who have knelt during the anthem, complaining doing so is disrespectful to the United States military.
Crenshaw suggested political displays from athletes who have a large platform to influence the national conversation on America’s biggest issues do nothing but inflame public discourse.
“You and your fellow athletes have only succeeded in politicizing one of the few things that still unite us,” Crenshaw said. “Sports.”