Silver medal-winning shot putter Raven Saunders raised her arms in an “X” formation over her head in symbolic protest while posing for photographers with her co-medalists on Sunday — in violation of the Olympic ban on medal ceremony protests.
Saunders, 25, of Charleston, South Carolina, told the Associated Press the gesture was a nod to “the intersection where all people who are oppressed meet.”
The self-proclaimed “Hulk” of track-and-field is black and openly gay and has been vocal about her struggles with depression. She said she hoped to honor “people all around the world who are fighting and don’t have the platform to speak up for themselves,” the BBC said.
Saunders, a three-time college champion during her time at Ole Miss, made her protest after stepping off the podium during the medal ceremony — in violation of the the International Olympic Committee’s “Rule 50” prohibition on medal ceremony protests.
It is not yet clear what penalties she could face for bring politics to the podium.
“I really think that my generation really don’t care,” Saunders said. “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.”
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SOURCE: New York Post, David Meyer