U.S. Silver medalist Raven Saunders caused a stir by raising her hands in a “X” after winning the Silver medal.
Saunders said she was playing tribute to her communities.
“I really think that my generation really don’t care,” Saunders said. “At the end of the day, we really don’t care. Shout out to all my black people. Shout out to all my LGBTQ community. Shout out to all my people dealing with mental health. At the end of the day, we understand it’s bigger than us and it’s bigger than the powers that be. We understand that there’s so many people that are looking up to us, that are looking to see if we say something or if we speak up for them.”
— New York Post (@nypost) August 1, 2021
The International Olympic Committee said it’s looking into a U.S. athlete’s decision to defy a ban on protesting while on the medal podium in Tokyo.
U.S. shot-putter Raven Saunders briefly held her arms above her head in the shape of an X after accepting her silver medal. The ceremony was over; China’s anthem to honor gold medalist Gong Lijiao was complete.
Saunders later explained it represented the “intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”
Saunders, a Black gay woman who is outspoken on racism, bigotry and issues of social justice, knew she was defying Olympic organizers. They’re under unprecedented pressure to end a ban on protests at the podium. Athletes and athlete advocates said the ban infringes on their basic human right of freedom of expression.
Sanders tweeted “Let them try and take this medal. I’m running across the border even though I can’t swim ”
Let them try and take this medal. I’m running across the border even though I can’t swim 😂 https://t.co/B59N2v9KAk
— Raven HULK Saunders (@GiveMe1Shot) August 1, 2021