Raven Saunders Offers Highest-Profile Protest Yet At Tokyo Olympics

Videos by OutKick

After securing the silver, American shot putter Raven Saunders offered the highest-profile protest in the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday night.

Saunders, raised her arms over her head in an “X” as she, gold medalist Lijiao Gong and bronze medalist Valerie Adams posed for photographers — she stood with her hands in front of her during the anthem, Yahoo Sports reports.

Saunders told The Associated Press that the symbol represented “the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”


Ahead of the games, the International Olympic Committee relaxed its Rule 50 so athletes could speak up in media conferences or during introductions, but IOC chief Thomas Bach reiterated that athletes could not protest on the medal stand.

Bach has threatened sanctions for athletes who protest on the podium, though it is unclear what the sanctions would be.

OutKick previously reported that IOC’s Athlete’s Commission Chief Kristy Coventry said preserving the podium is a priority.

“A very clear majority of athletes said that they think it’s not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play, at the official ceremonies or at the podium,” she said. “So, our recommendation is to preserve the podium, field of play and official ceremonies from any kind of protest or demonstrations or acts perceived as such.”

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee allowed protests at its Trials for these Games — once at the Olympics athletes are under IOC rules. 

With a throw of 19.79 meters, Saunders finished second to China’s Gong — her second throw was considered to be even farther, but she was called for a foul for stepping outside of the circle, Sports Illustrated reports.


The 25-year-old Charleston, South Carolina native’s celebration with her teammates took social media by storm before she took the podium.


Earlier this week, three-time Olympian Lolo Jones slammed Olympic protests and said a percentage of viewers are tuning out because of the politicization of the global event.

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Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. She was so oppressed that she found herself standing clad in our country’s colors on a podium, with all her expenses paid to freely compete, but chose rather to protest instead of celebrating her silver medal. To go to all that trouble to win a medal, reach the pinnacle of your sport, then to ignore all the people who supported your butt through it all the whole time to protest instead…that isn’t inspiring or impressive to me. It’s a sad commentary on the power of the present selfish delusion some are hopelessly lost in.

  2. Watch, in five years, after she blows whatever money she makes competing, Raven will be living in the hood with five babies by five different men, none of whom are still around. And it will be the white mans fault.

  3. Saw the start of the twerk last night on the broadcast. Thankfully the network cut away as soon as it started. Show some dignity. I didn’t see one other athlete up there twerking, ridiculous. I didn’t see the podium shenanigans but reading this magnify that ridiculousness. Oppressed? This person is living their dream, just like anyone else in our country can do if they want to put in the level of work their dream takes to accomplish. But yet they stand up their and say they’re oppressed. Pure ridiculousness. Saddest thing is there’s people out there that buy that garbage

    • This low class garbage primarily comes from one country where they are oppressed. Twerking then opening up her mouth and putting her fingers in it, not to mention the purple and green hair and the idiotic mask. Disgraceful black trash culture.

  4. Have to vent a tiny bit more. Has anyone seen this Olympic commercial about race and gender lines with Jessie Owens in it? It’s implying that today’s athletes are still facing race and gender barriers by referencing an amazing person that dealt with real barriers 85 years ago. That was 85 years ago; not today. There are no barriers in our country today, anyone can do anything that they want to do, if they’re willing to put in the work for it, regardless of gender or skin tome. So ridiculous.

    • Golf is the only sport that hasn’t lost viewership money since 2020… you’re people are nothing more than modern day gladiators meant to entertain the plebs, and you aren’t entertaining anymore.

    • Hahahahahahah you are a clown! Why do white people need to come up with solutions? How very plantation mentality of you. Yes meritocracy is your bag for sports played by black people but not in every other thing on earth whereby black people aren’t arguably the best. Oh then we need affirmative action, or special dispensation. You, just like 95% of liberals, are a walking dichotomy but are too stupid, stubborn or both to see it.

  5. These clowns are so desperate for some oppression… will someone please accommodate them? As Jussie Smollett, Bubba Wallace, Covington Catholic, etc. etc. show us, the demand for racism and oppression far exceeds the supply.

  6. Reiterates the exact point of the post. That was 1968, 53 years ago. Those two were dealing with some actual racism. Far cry from the equal society we live in now where anyone can achieve anything and skin tone makes no difference.

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