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A U.S. Olympic athlete disrespected the national anthem and the U.S. flag during Olympic trials on Saturday.
Hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who qualified for the team, turned away from the American flag and held up a black shirt that read “Activist Athlete” as she stood on the medal podium at the Olympic trials during the national anthem.
“I feel like it was a set-up, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the timing of the anthem. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
Berry is literally living the American dream and yet she insists on disrespecting our great nation.
“They had enough opportunities to play the national anthem before we got up there,” the angry athlete said. “I was thinking about what I should do. Eventually I stayed there and I swayed, I put my shirt over my head. It was real disrespectful.”
Berry said she wanted to represent those who died due to systemic racism.
“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” Berry said. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”
Don’t set me up and think I won’t jump ✊?✊?✊?✊?✊? https://t.co/IHXAbm3GBH— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) June 27, 2021
A USA Track and Field rep disputed Berry’s characterization of the anthem playing.
“The national anthem was scheduled to play at 5:20 p.m. today,” spokeswoman Susan Hazzard told the New York Post. “We didn’t wait until the athletes were on the podium for the hammer throw awards. The national anthem is played every day according to a previously published schedule.”
In 2019, Berry raised her fist while on the podium at the Pan-Am Games. The move led to a formal reprimand from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, but Berry was not suspended. She did, however, receive a 12-month probation.
The U.S. Olympic Committee should throw down the hammer and immediately remove Berry from the team. She is a disgrace to her sport and to the nation.
The U.S. Olympic Committee must take swift action to crack down on disgruntled athletes who are turning sports into a political platform. Otherwise, we face the very real possibility of athletes burning the U.S. flag from the medal podium.
Why do we have athletes representing America who don’t like America? https://t.co/CfpteFJ9Ii— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) June 27, 2021