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Protesting American Shot Putter Raven Saunders Twerks After Final Throw For Silver
Raven Saunders of Team United States competes in the Women's Shot Put Qualification on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

U.S. shot putter Raven Saunders twerked for the cameras on Sunday after her last throw to take second at the Tokyo Olympics.

Saunders put her arms over her head to form the shape of an “X” on the Olympic podium to protest for the oppressed and the LGBT community, the athlete said.

The shot putter was praised online by blue checks, though many commenters found the gesture of so-called twerking, or shaking one’s rump, disrespectful while on stage representing the U.S.

Saunders explained the podium protest on Monday during an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” show.

“I’m a black female, I’m queer and I talk about mental health awareness — I deal with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, a lot — so for me personally, I represent being at that intersection,” the athlete said. “I decided to use my platform to speak up for all those people, for anyone who represents any part of or any one of those groups, especially, this medals is for [them].”

“Shout out to all my Black people. Shout out to all my LGBTQ community. Shout out to all my people dealing with mental health.”

As noted by The Daily Wire, Saunders, who is gay and often speaks of battles with depression and suicidal thoughts, reiterated the protest after her Olympic event.

“To be me. To not apologize,” she said. “To show younger people that no matter how many boxes they try to fit you in, you can be you and you can accept it. People tried to tell me not to do tattoos and piercings and all that. But look at me now, and I’m poppin’.”

Saunders is not the only one protesting at the Olympics. Team USA hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned her back to the flag as the national anthem played and help up a T-shirt that said “activist athlete” at the Olympic trials. She also promised to protest on the podium if she were to medal, though she failed to do so.

“My third goal is just to represent, man,” she said before placing eighth in her event. “Represent the oppressed people. That’s been my message for the last three years. Just making sure that I bring awareness to the situations that are going on around the world, but especially in America with oppression and social injustice, for sure.”

U.S. women’s soccer players also took a knee before kickoff to Sweden at their Olympic opening game. Team USA went on to lose to Canada in the semifinals, killing any dreams at winning gold. The team is currently fighting for a bronze medal.

The Daily Wire reported this week that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has yet to rule if Saunders’s protest violated its rules, but it did confirm Monday the stunt is being investigated.


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Protesting American Shot Putter Raven Saunders Twerks After Final Throw For Silver