Openly lesbian black U.S. shot putter Raven Saunders aggressively shook her buttocks at the camera in a twerk maneuver after failing to record a gold medal-winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics this weekend, and gave a lengthy speech about intersectionality, LGBT politics, and racial justice at her silver medal acceptance ceremony.
Saunders, sporting a neon green and purple buzzcut, Saunders made an X sign with her wrists at the podium for her silver medal, explaining, “It’s the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”
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— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 1, 2021
Raven Saunders (@GiveMe1Shot) wins a silver medal in the women’s shot put and twerks in celebration after her final toss.
— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) August 1, 2021
Shot put Silver medalist #RavenSaunders of #TeamUnitedStates makes an 'X' to show support and signify the intersection of where all oppressed people meet, during the #tokyo2020 #OlympicGames 📸: @RyanPierse #athletics pic.twitter.com/yVsLOS7tQL
— Getty Images Sport (@GettySport) August 1, 2021
Asked what her mission was at the Olympics, Saunders declared, “To be me. To not apologize. 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’.”
“If not for sending a text to an old therapist I would not be here (right now),” Saunders said. “All these things weighing on me for 22 years, I was finally able to process it. I was finally able to separate Raven from ‘The Hulk.'”
She added that “I really think my generation really don’t care. Shout out to all my Black people, shout out to all my LBGTQ community, shout out to everybody dealing with mental health. Because at the end of the day, we understand that it’s bigger than us, and it’s bigger than the powers that be.”
Gong Lijiao of China took home the gold medal in the women’s shot put, beating runners-up Saunders and New Zealand’s Valerie Adams.