Anthony Ervin Makes Statement After Kneeling for National Anthem at Raia Rapida

2016-ervin-50-freestyle-rio
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 Raia Rapida challenge prides itself on fast swimming from sports icons around the globe. By adding women to the mix, they hoped to stir up the action this year.

But it was not only the female competitors that made the event more interesting this time around- three-time Olympic Gold medalist Anthony Ervin did so as well.

According to a Tweet from Alex Pussieldi, a Brazilian swimming comentator, Ervin knelt for the Americans’ National Anthem prior to the start of competition:

His actions follow those of many professional athletes from a range of sports over the last month. The protests started in an NFL pre-season game last year, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the Anthem. “This is bigger than football,” he said in 2016.

Kaepernick said he was protesting the wrongdoings of black people in America, while more issues have come up since his original action.

Ervin Tweeted the following after the competition:

Ervin has been known to make statements about similar issues in the past. He is part black, Native American, Italian and Jewish. In 2016, he explained his experience as a black athlete in a predominantly-white sport. And when it comes to voicing his opinions and beliefs, Ervin has not been one to keep to himself:

“I’m always torn between trying to at least being able to steer what the public perception is of my public image is versus who I know I am in my personal space,” Ervin said. “I don’t know what people think…and I’ve relinquished trying to understand what my public image is. Nothing about it has aggravated me to the point of being sick.”

The annual Raia Rapida event did not show anything different from Ervin. While his team (Hellen Moffit, Chuck Katis, and Kendyl Stewart) may have taken second in the swimming rankings, only time will tell if his decision to kneel during the National Anthem will make a significant impact on this issue in the sport of swimming.

Team USA and the NFL contributed to this report. 

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Swimmom3
4 years ago

wow. How edgy and original.

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Heads up Mr Ervin… no one gives a crap what your ethnicity is- we just want to see fast Swimming. Period. It’s been obvious from his life actions, outside of the pool, that it is Ervin himself that has issues with who he is; please don’t ruin this sport because of political junk.

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4 years ago

Heads up Ms. Podlin…. maybe you don’t give a crap but other people do. I especially love that he’s standing up for what he believes in. Isn’t that what you should be teaching the younger generation as a role model? When a young swimmer is thinking of quitting because they’re the only minority on their team, they’re gonna look at the professionals for the motivation to keep swimming. Do not discount Mr Ervin’s “political junk” simply because you don’t agree with his beliefs.

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Todd
4 years ago
Reply to  Natalie Lau

Interesting how many people are so concerned about the race of swimmers. Why do you care? I too love this guy’s ability. I cheered so much when he won the 50. Amazing. And then we need to here about his ideology. Turned me off. Still want him to do well. Just sickening how this BS is infecting all sports.

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4 years ago

Natalie Lau there’s a time and place.

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Darsha Stockton Doran
4 years ago

Susan L. Lansbury Oh really, and when will it be the proper time and proper place. I think minorities have been waiting way too long for both EQUALITY and JUSTICE. People like you are the problem. There is no time or place that will ever be suitable for you. My daughter swam competitively from age 5 through college. Over her 6 years of college [BA/MA] she had a Muslim and a black roommate both of whom received derogatory comments regarding race and religion while competing. It is an UGLY, CRUEL world out there when someone is desirous of SCAPEGOATING!! For my husband, my daughter and myself every forum is acceptable if it breaks down barriers, makes people think, and hopefully accomplishes something.

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4 years ago

Susan L. Lansbury like at a swim meet where a professional swimmer could easily get attention to an issue that he’s passionate about?

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4 years ago

Susan L. Lansbury Yup, the time and place is when you have attention on you so you can show people how evil inequality is.

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4 years ago

Susan L. Lansbury like know and in the pool setting

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4 years ago

Graduate college and maybe experience some of life away from the shelter of your parents, then comment on the actions of someone over twice your age who has accomplished more than you could probably do in 10x lifetimes child

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Darsha Stockton Doran
4 years ago
Reply to  Nissen Troy

Having graduated from college and having a swimmer daughter who competed through college I agree with Natalie as does my daughter. She had a Muslim and a black roommate who both were the brunt of derogatory comments while swimming. I say attack scapegoating and racism where it takes place and unfortunately in America it takes place EVERYWHERE!

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4 years ago

Natalie Lau heads UP Natalie … it’s her opinion. And your entire comment was IF, IF, IF. Her opinion is different from yours… and that’s okay.

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4 years ago

Peaceful protest! Admired. Fight against inequality and racism!

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4 years ago

Susan L. Lansbury yeah there is a time and place, as a role model he chose time and place perfectly

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4 years ago

Susan L. Lansbury to white people there’s never a time and place to have this discussion.

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4 years ago

Thanks for your opinion, it is your right. He has his, and some intelligence to back it up.

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Darnell James absolutely disagree with your overgeneralization and obvious racism. God created all in his likeness and we are all equal. All sin is equal also. If you raise your children to know that all lives are valuable and precious, color is not even an issue. Until parents start teaching their children to understand that, there will always be hate like you display with your comment. Politicians, celebrities and athletes are not responsible for instilling love and compassion in our hearts. It’s a parent & family’s responsibility.

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4 years ago

Jennifer Brurok Podlin Obvious racism? Im half white lol. I love myself, my family and my white friends.

You have illustrated the ignorance that strengthens the limitation of necessary conversations. News flash, not every black person comes from a broken home. Systematic oppression effects minorities from great structured loving homes as well. Lol.

You paint yourself to be a caring Individual. I urge you to be more open minded, less judgmental and try to understand the systematic obstacles some people deal with, some more than others.

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4 years ago

wrong…I give a crap 🙂

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4 years ago

Jennifer Brurok Podlin: Through Tony’s life story, he has inspired & motivated countless others. At 35 years old in Rio, he owned the Splash & Dash … capturing Gold! Who does that? Having met him, we assure you: Tony’s history is to be admired — not condemned!

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4 years ago

Now if people on here start responding to you with comments like shut the hell up, be quiet or take your political BS elsewhere you would probably be the first person to run crying to your pocket constitution and attempt to ram your first amendment rights down our throats. Agree or not agree with these athletes protests they are exercising their first amendment rights in the best possible non-violent way. “I may not agree with what you are saying but I defend your right to say it”

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4 years ago

Nissen Troy like being homeless?

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4 years ago

so we are told that this isn’t protesting the flag or the anthem. Then why not do it before or after the anthem? Attention seeking. This hasn’t helped the NFL any. Now you’re going to bring this to swimming? You’d probalby get more out of it if you actually take action over those things you feel strongly about, instead of being passive agressive.

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4 years ago

Why is this passive aggressive? It’s a simple form of peaceful protest. It’s not doing anyone any harm and it certainly is not against the flag rituals.

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4 years ago

Natalie Lau then do it before the anthem.

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4 years ago

Protests don’t happen when it’s convenient for you, Aimee. He is peacefully protesting!

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4 years ago

Aimee Trout-Foster why before? That doesn’t get the point across?

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4 years ago

Because of what the flag symbolizes

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Jeff/ Swimmer/ Citizen
4 years ago

If people protest in spaces where nobody can see or hear than it is n’t much of a protest. I suggest you ask the black friends and coworkers you have and know about their experiences in the world. And how well their issues have been addressed and how they feel about videos of police actions that are pretty bad. Anthony Ervin works in the community all the time. So do others. Years ago black athletes won glory for America in the Olympics and came home as less than second class citizens. Circa 1930’s to early 1960’s. They also came home and come home from the military and are afraid with good cause of being targeted or being subjected to excessive force if stopped or arrested. Different from white counterparts. Its not a useless self seeking cause. Many years ago people like you didn’t get why blacks and others were engaged in protest at lunch counters or did ‘nt think it mattered if black people used separate facilities by law. You think everybody should just be glad to be an American. And they should But they also have the right to fight to make things better for themselves so they get the same experiences and safety you get. Right now there are enough documented cases in the past three years not to mention in recent history ( last 10 years ) where that is not the case. When you are part of a group that is supposed to be covered by the law but actually is not then you can spout off with more authority. If Ervin did this before or after the anthem you would not have heard about it, wrote what you wrote or ever have the opportunity to get into a discussion and learn something. Which you can choose to do or not to do. And yes I am a patriotic American and the haters on here can go ahead and tear me a new one. If you and a lot of other people spent energy supporting the rights of others so they can have the safety and security you do – the protests would be done. And the NFL hasn’t helped themselves deal with the issue because they approached it with a lack of intellect, sensitivity or the ability to reason, communicate or problem solve. If that sounds familiar you might want to take a closer look at yourself.

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4 years ago

I’m 100% in support of Tony’s right to peaceful protest.

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4 years ago

All this time I thought swimmers were leaders not followers! My swimmer friends and I prefer to actually do things about problems we feel strongly about!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Yeah, like Tony has never given a speech about diversity / inclusion or any other topic relating to his experiences in the sport?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Tell me, how much was he paid for these speeches?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Lol you’re not a swimmer Kevin – stop lmao

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Pretty certain he IS being a leader!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Except he IS doing things about problems he feels strongly about??? He’s expressing his disagreement with what is occurring in his country. A country he represents in the Olympics and proudly wears the colors for every time he swims

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Expressing his disagreement may help him sleep at night, but I don’t see how it helps in anyway with the problem. To do it in a way that is offensive to millions of people is a poor choice in my opinion.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

How is it offensive? There is literally nothing in the flag code that says you can’t kneel???? It does say you can’t make the flag into a design on disposable objects and yet for the Fourth of July there’s paper cups and plates you can easily buy in a 20 pack

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Natalie, you cannot tell someone what is and what isn’t offensive. One thing for sure, if millions find it offensive, it probably is.

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Jeff
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Can you give three examples of how you and your other swimmer friends have united with your black friends and coworkers to help address the issue of police brutality and unequal redress under the law? Obviously this is not an issue you care about since you spent your time on here dismissing Anthony Ervin and not even suggesting that his issue is a real one. Maybe their will be a few black people on here who can help give you some perspective. Or maybe they will just agree with you….

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Jeff, Police Brutality happens at the same percentage in Indigenous American communities, and I see no one mentions that and plenty of athletes are unfortunately not including Native People in these concerns and are complicit in support of sports teams with Bigoted mascots. I smell hypocrisy not just from athletes, but also most supporters and I find it vey disappointing.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Kevin you realize your argument “you cannot tell someone what is and what isn’t offensive” applies to you as well, right? What’s more offensive to you, kneeling during a song or massive amounts of humans killed/incarcerated based on the color of their skin?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

So now you’re trying to say if someone doesn’t kneel, or support kneeling for the Anthem, they support “massive amounts of humans killed/incarcerated based on…..”? SMH. Typical liberal “thinking”! Don’t even dream of doing something that MIGHT offend a single student, employee or immigrant but it is totally acceptable to offend millions, as long as it is in the name of YOUR cause!

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canissen
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Do any of these millions show up in your count?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Adkins

Natalie Lau you don’t get your own statement. You said the flag – the flag – cannot be made into a design. The plates you refer to were never flags As far as offensive goes – yes it is offensive to kneel for the flag or anthem. There are some things in this life that , just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should. Would you disrespect your mother ? Your children ? Your spouse ? No , you wouldn’t. But you have the “ right “ – yet you wouldn’t. So , find a real way to make a difference and stop hiding behind your “right “

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4 years ago

YES!

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4 years ago

Don’t make me boycott the Olympics too! No place for this at the pool!

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4 years ago

Lol bye

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4 years ago

Lol yes there is. It’s in the first amendment try reading it again really slowly. If you need help I’m sure there’s a children’s version

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Jeff the swimmer
4 years ago

You mean like the time when black athletes could not compete for South African at the Olympics because of the color of their skin and racial make up? And the world eventually very slowly rallied until that changed? Like that? Guess what? We still have people treated like that at times in America. So this is a good a time as any and as good a place. If Ervin didn’t protest this way a bigot like you would never get the chance to learn anything or show us who you really are….. But believe it or not his kneeling or whatever allows you to do and say what you will and live how you want and support or not support whatever you want. His freedom is your freedom. Sad thing is people in other countries respect his right to do this more than you do….. You need to get out and about a little bit more. The point of this protest is that black people have a very different experience at times navigating the same roads literally and figuratively in America than you do. And that should disturb you.

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4 years ago

See ya

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4 years ago

Actually there is a place for this, as it just happened- sorry Susan but white privilege is running out of hiding places, if you want to ignore real issues with our nation you’re gonna have to just hide in your little home of ignorance!

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4 years ago

Natalie Lau As a coach and a board member sweetly read this real slow it is what I say that goes . Also it’s a free country and I am free to boycott anything I want .
I am sure you can read that real show and figure that out!

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4 years ago

The Olympics will try to find a way to make it without you

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dumbass swimmers
4 years ago

swimmers aren’t too smart. Phelps. Lochte. Irvin is just a follower. Not too original there. This hasn’t gone over well for the NFL, now you’re going to introduce this crap on the pool deck? Idiot.

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4 years ago

Good for you. Glad to see him standing up to bring light to injustice by taking a knee. A swimmer with heart instead of hate, like most of these comments by privileged white swimmers. If this behavior upsets you then you have some serious soul searching to do.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Idiot

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Alissa Ferguson: Thank you for your thoughtful, and articulate response. Your command of the English language is astonishing. Thank you for proving my point.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Fight for equality and fight against racism. Peaceful protest!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Except the protest is based on a lie , the stats do not support it, it’s a false fake narrative

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Jeff Salomon you’re appreciated.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Scott Allen facts don’t matter to the sheep.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Jeff Salomon way to be divisive. Privileged white swimmers?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Aimee Trout-Foster: You are correct. I will delete that line. BTW: I am a white priveledged swimmer.

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Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Idiot

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

‘Standing up’ by taking a knee ? The idiocy knows no bounds, it seems. What overlord is he kneeling to ? Empty gesture for an ill defined cause with no clear objective – at all. Freaking brilliant ! ( sarcasm , for those not quite sure )

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Salomon

Rick Bohner: Wow. An ill defined cause? I think the cause has been quite well defined. You are just one of those people who refuse to acknowledge reality. Take comfort in that you are not alone in ignorance.

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4 years ago

Shame on him!

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4 years ago

Can I ask why?

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4 years ago

Because she is afraid, Natalie

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4 years ago

Disprecting the flag and this country

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4 years ago

How is taking a knee disrespectful to this Country … a Democracy that guarantees the right to peacefully protest? You probably have no problem with people wearing American Flag bikinis … because that’s super classy and respectful, right?!?

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4 years ago

Michael Hayes care to chime in?

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4 years ago

Debi Skarecky-bHill saw your mama in an American Flag bikini and from my perspective st that time she looked very classy.

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4 years ago

Michael Hayes?

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Did someone not get enough attention growing up? Aw, poor little Tony.

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4 years ago

Why would you discount his hard work to becoming a professional swimmer? If you look at the most well known swimmers, barely half of them are minorities. Did you even know him before this article? I doubt it. He’s one of the lesser known Olympic swimmers, drowned out by the accomplishments of other amazing (white) swimmers such as Phelps and Franklin

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4 years ago

Jan, are you a little triggered there? Does it make you uncomfortable when people of accomplishment force you to think via their peaceful protest, so you feel the need to instead attack the protestor with such an asinine comment?

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4 years ago

Country first!!! Not your political opinion!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Ryan

Like North Korea ???

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4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Ryan

Freedom first…NOT glorifying symbols

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4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Ryan

Country first? A hunk of earth? Or what this country stands for? Which includes the first amendment

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4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Ryan

Mark Ryan I feel bad for your closed mind!

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4 years ago

Swimming doesn’t generate the monery football makes. It will die much easier.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jenn Ferguson

I’m 100% certain the sport of swimming won’t “die” because a swimmer peacefully protests!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jenn Ferguson

Have you seen what’s happening with the ratings and revenue of the NFL?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jenn Ferguson

I’m 100% certain the NFL is going anywhere either!

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Reply to  Jenn Ferguson

The revenue and ratings of the NFL have been declining for some time, probably because people do not want to watch a sport that does long-term damage to the brains of the participants.

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4 years ago

Dude is an Olympic gold medalist. He can do whatever he wants. I’m sure he’s accomplished more than any of the upset folk here combined. Respect to my fav swimmer ✊?

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Reply to  Dexter Thomas

So because he’s famous means he can do whatever he wants…that’s what Harvey Weinstein thought.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. However he spent countless hours training for his success, so he can use his platform for peaceful protest. Your comparison to a Hollywood sexual predator falls flat.

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Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Dexter Thomas I understand the process of swimming and the countless hours of training that goes into it. That has nothing to do with his choice to disrespect the country that provided him with the freedom to pursue his dreams. My point is directly referring to the comment made about how famous he is which means he can do whatever he wants. That comment speaks to the many egos so much that it ruined the careers of many.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Veronica Corridan Gemma your comparison is disgusting and you should feel bad for even typing it. He implied that this man who has represented our country in a pretty epic, admirable way has earned the right to use his platform for good. Whether or not you agree with Anthony’s opinion, Dexter is right.

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Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Megan Matthews nothing gives anyone the right to disrespect the many men and women who died for him and you and all Americans. Coming from a family of vets and swimmers….this act is unpatriotic and disappointing. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing with his opinion on the matter. He can use his game by running a marathon in the name of his cause, or getting into inner cities by helping youth. There are countless ways to help this cause….disrespecting our country especially on foreign land is never ok.

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Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Btw….I’m a huge fan of Anthony Ervin and so are my swimmers and will continue to be a fan of his swimming.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Kneeling for the National Anthem isn’t a disrespectful gesture. It is drawing attention to a problem in our country. Every soldier who has fought and died for that flag did so to help this nation progress past a point of impasse. This non-violent effort should be supported. It is never unpatriotic to want to better this country. And there is a folded flag encased in my home, and I know what the coin says.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Veronica Corridan Gemma daughter and granddaughter of vets, and girlfriend of a vet. Also a swim instructor and ex competition swimmer. I don’t find kneeling unpatriotic in the least. You’re using the excuse of “disrespecting the country” to either mask the fact that you are a.) too lazy to look into why people are actually kneeling or b.) too unwilling to look past your own experiences and ego to admit that you hold a privilege that people of color in this country do not. Or maybe it’s all of the above. Your analogy was daft and you sound ignorant. I’m really not trying to be rude to you, but I’m so, so tired of people spewing the same crap you are. Over and overrrr.

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Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Megan Matthews your assumptions and insults are not good for effective discussion. It is my opinion on it and according to countless other Americans I am not alone in my stance. Let’s leave it at that. Btw…you are rude. Good day. I sure hope you don’t speak to your athletes that way.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Veronica Corridan Gemma listen and understand or don’t. That’s unfortunately your prerogative. “Effective discussion” comes when one actually has something intelligent to add to said discussion. You did not, but instead parroted what I’ve seen thousands of other lazy people say. Not on me. ?‍♀️

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Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Megan Matthews take a look at the majority of the comments….you are in the minority. Again, I hope you do not speak to your athletes that way …if you really are a coach.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Did she block me or see her way out?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

I don’t see her comments any longer either ?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

U think because someone wins an olympic gold medal- they can do whatever they want????

I think if you win the Medal of honor- or die in combat- the least any one of us can do is stand for the national anthem!!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Dexter Thomas

Then why kneel at that point if it isn’t meant to be disrespectful .

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4 years ago
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4 years ago

Hes not protesting police brutality. Hes seeking attention.

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4 years ago

Steve Harrison : Complete ??.
He’s kneeling to shine a light on inequality and in support of those protesting police brutality and profiling.

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Steve Harrison he’s seeking attention for the cause of ending police brutality. Why are so many people against that cause?

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4 years ago

Catherine – Partly because it’s mostly a false narrative. Coming from a law enforcement family I’ve seen and heard the other side all my life. And partly because kneeling at that time (during the anthem and in front of the flag) DOES disrespect the flag and anthem and all those who’ve fought and died for our freedoms.

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Jeff
4 years ago

Kristen Smith Jenkyns it is not a false narrative. I am sure a lot of the police stuff you learned and saw at home is true. But their are definitely some bad arrests and stops and police brutality. Its on video over and over again now. Is this most cops? Not at all. But the protests ( wherever they are happening ) is to address the injustices going on. The issue is that black have been targeted, profiled and abused with excessive force sometimes leading to death in some instances by police officers who are out of control for any number of reasons and proper legal redress has not happened. You fail to understand that both situations can be happening at the same time. But it is not a false narrative. You suggest these protests are not needed because their is not police brutality or violence based on race and in fact this just doesn’t happen. Anybody in Law Enforcement who can look at some of the videos surfacing and feel that that represents their profession gives me pause. You are a racist and do not recognize it. Now you know.

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4 years ago

No it doesn’t. Nowhere in the flag code does it ever say that kneeling is against the flag rituals. It’s also against the flag codes to make the flag printed onto disposable objects and clothes and yet there are paper plates and cups that can have the flag printed right on it

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4 years ago

Agree. But your professional sport is not the place to do it. Opportunism.

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4 years ago

But it’s a professional sport. Peaceful protest is meant to garner attention. It’s actually the perfect place to do it

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4 years ago

Watching a game the other week during the anthem I noticed several photographers kneeling while taking pictures. So, is it ok to kneel if you’re trying to get that shot?

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4 years ago

I hate the hypocrisy when Ryan lochte humiliated himself in Brazil

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4 years ago

Bryan Hockman there’s a time and a place for everything and when you find that perfect time and that perfect place, someone will have a problem with it.

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4 years ago

Funny thing is all of you are hypocrites. You nor any law-abiding citizen will see police brutality. Because its a narrative created to keep down people by “the man”. Instead of disrespecting the men and women who have lost lives and limbs, stand up and rise above it. Use all your energy and fame to actually make a difference in your community. Do you see this happening? Nope. Because they want fame and attention…thats all.

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4 years ago

Steve Harrison : Yeah, calling ?? on this.
I’m from a family that contains both law enforcement and attorneys. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen both sides of police brutality play out. Most of the time law enforcement acts properly with good training but that’s not what always happens and statistically a significant amount of the problems involve members of minorities. There are bad cops and there is bad policy still out there. Just like I believe there are bad doctors and bad priests and unethical lawyers. It would be both ignorant and naive for me, as a Caucasian in 2017, to believe otherwise.

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4 years ago

I think the reason I haven’t seen this yet is because there are too few people stupid enough to post it. You are a rare breed, it’s best if you tell your handler that you’ve been on Facebook again…

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4 years ago

Andrew Spencer Ashby : Jesus still loves you……..even if you are a Cornhusker.

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4 years ago

Thank you Anthony Ervin because America can no longer hide behind a white sheet. To all you haters out there, read the Constitution. First Amendment

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4 years ago

…but he is “white” also. Same as the man who started it all. Same as our beloved President Obama.

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Jeff
4 years ago

Susan L Lansbury you just proved without a doubt that you are a good old American Racist. Thank you for showing us who you are. Please do educate us all how racism and police brutality in America began with former President Obama. My understanding having completed grade school is that it began a little before that. If you have other historical data please do share it…..

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Good for you, Tony. Keep speaking out and shining a light on police brutality and institutional racism.

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4 years ago

Please don’t bring this disrespect to our great sport of swimming too. ?

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4 years ago

What disrespect?

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4 years ago

You mean when Ryan lochte did that disgraceful act in Brazil?? Rather this peaceful protest than that silly act in Brazil by lochte

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4 years ago

Just a has-been trying to be relevant.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Rick Parker

You know he won Gold (again) about a year ago, right? You know, in the Olympics?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Rick Parker

I’m aware that he won gold last year at age 35. I won’t hold my breath for him making the Olympics again at age 39.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Rick Parker

Rick Parker so he’s a has been a year later? You ever swim at that level? Clearly not. I just don’t get the has been comment, hmm a guy who still makes national teams and spends his free time hosting clinics and talks for inner city kids and other at-risk groups making a peaceful protest seems to be making you upset- so you think he is a hasbeen? I’d rather be a has-been multi-gold medalist making a statement than a sad old white man making a comment on the internet trying to lessen this powerful move

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Chris Nissen
4 years ago
Reply to  Rick Parker

A “has-been” who won an individual Olympic gold medal a year ago. How much hate and ignorance do you have in your body? What have you done that is significant lately, if ever?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Rick Parker

It’s bad for the NFL and bad for swimming. And it will be bad for what’s left of his career.

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4 years ago

Yess!!! Good on ya!!

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Michael Maloney
4 years ago

HOW come all the HAS beens want to start….I pray they kick him off the team..not that he deservers to be there anyway…….this is going to have bad bad blood towards the sport…

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Jeff
4 years ago

What I hope is that some former or current world class black American swimmers ( gold medalists ) will take some time to weigh in. Share their experiences or those of family members with these situations or what they are taught about going out in the world. Maybe some of you should try and contact Mr. Ervin and ask him for more details about his protest and his experiences.

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4 years ago

Bounce this clown from TEAM USA.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Chad Bloom

Hey nice hunting gear, you totally don’t lool like a stereotypical white idiot from the midwest, so I won’t assume that about you based on your skin color and choice of clothes- oh wait, could that be part of the issue that Tony is referererring to with his peaceful protest? Oh, it is? Oh, it makes you uncomfortable?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Chad Bloom

Peaceful protest, great swimmer, good person.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Chad Bloom

Protest peacefully while not swimming for Team USA. Never met the guy…dont care if he is a prince of a guy. Stand for the anthem of the country that provides you more freedoms than ANY place else in the world. He can F off.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Chad Bloom

Chad Bloom ? ok

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4 years ago

His jacket shows an American flag and the words United States Olympic Team. I expect Mr Ervin to return all apparel he received while representing the United States and to explain how kneeling during the United States anthem doesn’t disrespect all Americans . If he has an issue with police, do not use our sacred flag and anthem as a weapon in his battle. He should man up and take his statement to the police, not the country at large. There are times and places for everything… you picked the wrong time and wrong place for a beef with police. As inconsequence for his disrespectful behavior, I suggest the USOC did continue is financial benefits and participation as representative of US swimming events for one year. There are rights, and there are consequences.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Keep trying Jim, maybe your facebook comment will reach all the way to the top of the USOC! Lol man, read a book or go outside to see whats going on- just because someone has earned the spot to swim for USA doesn’t take away their right to peaceful protest- anywhere

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

The right to peaceful protest and equality.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Nissen Troy yes, they have that personal right, but some of those rights are modified once they don the red, white and blue as an official representative of our country. Ask Ryan Lochte how his personal embarrassment to the American team turned out while in Brazil . There are rights, and there are consequences. If Ervin or anyone has a serious issue with police, they should go directly to those they oppose! They should be smart enough not to offend the vast majority of Americans, including people like me who help fund the USOC. As Coach John Wooden once told Bill Walton ( paraphrasing) ” You are right, Bill, I don’t have the right to tell you not to have your hair below your ear, but I have the right to say who plays on my UCLA team… and we’re going to miss you!” Walton ran out the gym, jumped on his bike, and got a haircut! Again, there are rights, and there are consequences.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

余梓鍵 Do it on his own time and when not wearing appparel provided by the USOC as a representative of the United States. He is making a personal statement; do it on his time and not when wearing clothing provided by the USOC.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

That’s a cute story about Wooden. He was legendary. This is 2017- times are different- you can be a good role model and speak up for injustice.

I’m glad you brought up Lochte, let’s compare both cases: Lochte wins medals, goes out and gets hammered, DESTRUCTS PROPERTY and flees the country to escape punishment… spends next year banned and says sorry, goes on Dancing with the Stars.

Ervin: wins medals. Spends year holding clinics, helping swimmers of all backgrounds, giving speeches and giving back- is it because he embarrassed his nation being an idiot like Lochte did in Rio? Nope, it’s because he cares for the people of this nation.

Now, tell me how Lochte committing a crime that destructed property during the Olympics and now Ervin protesting peacefully (without breaking any USOC flag/anthem rules btw) compare and deserve the same treatment?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Also can you explain your financial connection to the USOC? You claim you help fund it- so your investment in an Olympic committee gives you say over the rights of athletes? That’s interesting, it’s as though you feel your financial donations to the USOC give you partial ownership to athletes representing the country. Can you tell me more?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Nissen Troy What is his complaint? Why kneel? It’s lame. A kneel does not say what his important issue is. People see it and are perplexed. It’s disrespectful to the country and those who fought to preserve and protect our rights, including right to protest. At least Tommy Smith and John Carlos stood tall when the Stars and Stripes were raised and they gave a Black Power salute in 1968. Ervin can protest all he wants about whatever concerns him… just not when he is a US national representative at events when he should be proud to be an American . When he and others kneel, it becomes about them, not the event people want to watch. Same with Lochte… I imagine he would have been sent home without damaging property. Being drunk and disorderly while wearing US gear would be enough disrespect to garner a trip home. By the way, have Ervin describe what injustice he is complaining about and to do sufficient, valid research to support his position.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

We all know what this protest is about, it’s pretty damn late to play stupid and act like the world doesn’t know what this is about. I’m sorry but when a German soccer club (Hertha Berlin) kneels in solidarity with American athletes, it’s a little too late to say “know one knows what he’s doing this for.” Besides, if they didn’t know, then they would theoretically look as to why he did it, which would then bring more awareness to the issue.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

But let me say again: your argument that the world has no idea why he is kneeling is long gone, the world has been watching for some time now.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

I’m american and I don’t feel disrespected.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

not the USOC, Ervin and Lochte hold a Registration Card with USA Swimming and violated USA Swimmings Code of Conduct

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Nissen Troy … empirical evidence, please. No emotion or infrequent events seized by the media. Sure, police are people and make mistakes, just as you and I ! Some can be mean and vicious. So why show disrespect for the symbols of our country because of the actions of statistically insignificant few police? There are plenty of social injustices in this world and country…. so let’s go to all the shootings and murders in Chicago. Let’s take a knee and say a prayer in respect to those who were killed inChicago … but don’t cast blame on this country. It’s people… not the country.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Julie Tellier thank you, Julie! As we know, WIKI is not always reliable.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Jim Deitrick So you believe that it is just a few bad apples in the police force then?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Nissen Troy There are plenty of media outlets and government leaders who aren’t sure what kneeling has morphed into. We know how it started… but junior and senior high kids do it for many different reasons.. some say it looks “cool”. Sad.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Statistically, yes.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

A piece of cloth and a song are not sacred. The ideals behind them are. He is representing the ideals very well.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Jim Deitrick I’m sorry?? what?? Myself and my children hold USA swimming cards, didn’t look it up on Wikipedia

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

It is his right to kneel. It is as respectful as praying and it is against the law to require him to stand. He doesn’t need to return anything.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Jim Deitrick you’re just an old white man who has never experienced systemic racial injustice and inequality in your life. Your white privilege is showing big time and it’s not a good quality at all to display for all to see. Anthony Irwin and all the black football players take a knee to protest these injustices that American people of color suffer and have been suffering for generations in our country. They are NOT disrespecting our flag or being unpatriotic at all. They are simply exercising their first amendment right to peacefully protest to bring awareness to their plight and to try to affect change. That is being patriotic and we whites who sit by and do nothing to stop this systemic racial injustice are complicit in it happening and continuing. Wake up and smell the coffee, put yourself in these peoples shoes for once in your life and educate yourself about racial injustice in our country, please!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Julie Tellier tell me how Ervin violated the code of conduct- I’m super curious as a former USA Swimming athlete and current coach. Oh, I also was on a Junior National team, never read that rule in my code of c

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Julie Tellier interesting… As a former USA Swimming athlete, not to mention a National Junior Team alum, don’t remember any rules that waived my 1st amendment right when I represented the USA…
We know that Lochte cleary violated USAS codes of conduct, can you tell me how Tony did with this kneel?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

Jim Deitrick just to be clear what reply of yours I am replying to now:

“Nissen Troy There are plenty of media outlets and government leaders who aren’t sure what kneeling has morphed into. We know how it started… but junior and senior high kids do it for many different reasons.. some say it looks “cool”. Sad.”

So, firstly, what ‘media outlets’ or ‘government leaders’ are you talking about? This conversation has been going on for much longer than you imply. By pretending you and these so-called ‘media outlets’ and ‘government leaders’ don’t know what the kneeling are pertaining to you are discrediting your original argument.

By your statement, “We know how it started…” you clearly know what we are talking about- why did you claim that people don’t know why Tony would kneel???

And what with the comment about high school and middle school athletes kneeling without knowing why they are doing it? Can you PLEASE expand on that one? Because A) we know that high school/middle school KIDS take a lot of things they see and copy…
BUT, this is a pretty clear cut case- they’re not copying a rapper sagging their pants for whatever reason, they’re copying an athlete who is protesting racial injustice-
Also, what ‘empirical’ (to use your own words/worries) evidence do you have on high school and middle school students kneeling only because “they think it’s cool…”?? Can you show me that? And do you realize these kids probably know how to use the internet very well which means they most definitely know what the kneeling is about?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

I expect dumb kkklan inbreds to stfu

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4 years ago
Reply to  Jim Deitrick

I expect you to return your copy of the pocket constitution because you seem to not really understand the meaning of the first ammendment

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4 years ago

At some point certain white people are going to have to get the message. To those that do get the point thank you for your TRUE showing of patriotism.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Darnell James

What message? That you need safe spaces? Grow up

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4 years ago
Reply to  Darnell James

Scott Allen or that systematic oppression effects people and there are racial injustices that people experience daily in our society. While you may not be racist, you’re basically saying you’re ok with it and that makes you part of the problem.

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4 years ago

YES TONY!!! Keep on my man!

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4 years ago

He probably made the water stink because of this scumbags action he shoulnt be allowed in any pool again he stinks

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4 years ago

You look pretty old and white, I’m guessing you probably actually stink like 24/7! (That’s what disrespect looks like by the way, not what Tony chose to peacefully do).

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4 years ago

Nissen Troy you shoul know what stink is like i should be able to smell you hereup yor ass scumbag

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canissen
4 years ago

Michael, I am sorry to see that you are widowed. Has the event made you cantankerous also? Can you add some sort of intelligent commentary? Or are you just full of insults that elementary school kids could put down easily? Are you Canadian? Does that make you an expert on American issues?

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4 years ago

When is it okay to engage in peaceful protests again? Just checking.

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4 years ago

Bumper sticker activism. #firstworldproblems.

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4 years ago

He is an embarrassment to his country and his sport!

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4 years ago
Reply to  Li Da

No he’s not! My husband served this country for 20 years to guarantee the freedom that allows him to peacefully protest! There is NOTHING embarrassing about protesting for equality and to fight against racism…nothing!

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4 years ago

I guess he needed some media attention.

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4 years ago

I have s Masters meet on Veterans Day, in Oklahoma. I dare you to try that here.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Russ Smith

Why don’t you do it, if you want someone to do it so badly lol

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4 years ago
Reply to  Russ Smith

I served as a Marine for three years and Army for 23. What have you or any of these brats done for their community, state, or nation? Not a damn thing.

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Not cool. Don’t represent my country if you can’t stand for our anthem ?

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4 years ago

Disappointing!!

Million other places to protest!!

No longer an idol of mine!!

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4 years ago

Not the place for this action.

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4 years ago

Oh my god I love this man. He was amazing to meet and hear speak. And he is kneeling for the injustice people face due to the color of their skin Jacob Masters

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4 years ago

He should be cut from the national team

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4 years ago

Hello All,
We are all entitled to our own opinions on this matter. I for one am very much against anyone who lives in the United States of America to kneel, sit or not take off their hat during the National Anthem or when a flag is being flown in the air for our freedom. Many of our athletes do not know the history of our flag and how our freedom was given to us. Many men and women fought for those freedoms you were given. For anyone to not stand for those rights is wrong. You may feel that because of your race, religion, color etc. gives you the right to protest against the flag and anthem that gave you those freedoms is very wrong! If you believe you have been wronged because of anything someone or something has done against you, you should do a peaceful protest that is organized as the freedom you were given by that flag and the men and women who fought for you to be able to do that. Many of my family members were and are in the military and law enforcement. My son right now is fighting in Afghanistan for your freedom. He is also a deputy Sheriff that protects you when you are sleeping. Ask yourself this question? If we did not have the military or law enforcement to protect you what would you do at swim meets, NFL games, Baseball games, basketball games etc. Do you think you would feel safe? Do you think there would be any organization to leaving the parking garage. Do you think the Coaches would feel safe leaving the field? Would you feel safe if the person next to you team lost and starting fighting with others? Would you feel safe in your neighborhood knowing there is no one to save you if your house was being broken into? Would you feel safe that know one was watching over the prisoners that beat, rape, molest, murder, etc. These are things all should think about without the military, police, fire, hospitals, emergency personal. So for you to kneel or sit during the national anthem and when a flag of freedom is being flown because you feel you are not getting treated equal think about what this world would be like without the GOD given freedoms you have and STAND UP for them and thank emergency personal and the military who gave you those rights and quick protesting them for giving you those freedoms! Take your protest to the people that can help you with your issues! But don’t bring them to sports that have nothing to do with it. In the long run it will hurt you just like the NFL is getting very hurt by this. If you bring it to swimming, I as a coach for USA Swimming will not put up with it. I have every race and color on my team and they are all treated with the utmost respect and equal. Go back to your history lessons and learn something!

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4 years ago

As a Veteran, is it too much to ask? 90 seconds as they say “to honor America” our country has far too many positives for this to become routine. It’s your right to protest. But is this honorable? I’m sad for the children being taught this instead of action outside of sports.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Steve Haebig

Well said.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Steve Haebig

Thank you for your service!!

I have family currently serving this country- in the Army and this nonsense of disrespecting our country and the flag is to much.

It is pure ignorance and poor upbringing in my opinion.

There are so many other ways to protest- but that would take effort. And these people are looking for the easy way out. Lazy and unmotivated bunch of followers.

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4 years ago

So now we are going to have all people that don’t agree with what is going on to kneel fo our national anthem? I guess it is ok to disrespect everyone’s national anthem you don’t agree to. Is has become very sad because our national anthem represents our country in so many ways. There are ways to protest and get your message across without disrespecting our flag and our country. I agree that everyone has a right to protest and that we do not have a perfect country but we do have one amazing place to call home???????? It is being torn apart from within… all this kneeling is not solving any problems.. just creating more.

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4 years ago

He may be kneeling, but his hand is over his heart. Can it be that he is showing his respect for the nation while acknowledging a problem?

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Now don’t go bringing logic into the conversation… 😉

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4 years ago

Where has FINA approved clown shoes for competition?

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4 years ago

I guess swimmers aren’t smarter than other athletes.

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4 years ago

Never Heard of Him!

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4 years ago

@Nissen Troy is the real mvp of this thread

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No matter how good of a swimmer you are if you can’t respect the country you swim/compete with than you should be removed from the team.

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4 years ago

Swimming is one of the least racially-diverse sports, with the history of racial segregation in swimming pools going back decades, the astoundingly high drowning rate of African Americans who cannot access swimming lessons, and the fact that the first woman to win a gold medal in an individual Olympic swimming event (Simone Manuel) didn’t happen until last year. I see no problem with Ervin making this statement about police brutality towards marginalized communities since our own swimming community has a lot to reflect on and improve upon when it comes to racial equality in our sport.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Claire Forrest

Clueless.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Claire Forrest

Claire- you would have been a disappointment to Martin Luther King- who dreamed of a day when all of mankind would be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. As you seem to still be judging people by the color of their skin!!

Martin Luther king was a great Man.

Barack Obama- a n African American Man was elected president- a great day for this country.

But confused , ignorant people still choose to disrespect this country by ignoring or anthem and flag.

Shame on you.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Claire Forrest

Peter Paul Reich You seem to have misunderstood my comment. I am speaking about further equalizing the spot of swimming to all people regardless of skin color, and that includes fighting for racial EQUALITY . I also said nothing about MLK or Barack Obama, both of whom I support.

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4 years ago
Reply to  Claire Forrest

I would also suggest familiarizing yourself with the work of Cullen Jones on this topic. Other suggested reading:

1) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90213675

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4 years ago
Reply to  Claire Forrest

Lastly, I don’t know how to break it to you, but MLK spent the majority of his life…peacefully protesting racial inequality.

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4 years ago

Who cares. Swimmers aren’t even serious athletes ?

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4 years ago
Reply to  Bill Backes

Obviously you never swam competitively. Good tell Michael Phelps that.

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lhammond
4 years ago

Why is this an issue? Don’t we all have freedom of speech? Look at the first amendment. Is there anything wrong with kneeling for the anthem? I don’t put my hand over my heart, is there anything wrong with that?

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4 years ago

So disappointed in you Mr. Ervin. You (are supposed to) represent our country, and that includes every American. While you are entitled to your thoughts and opinions, singling out one DIVISIVE cause while donning USOC gear is insubordination. Remember, swimming is your JOB!

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4 years ago

Aaaaaa…..if you did that you are done!!