‘Not important’: Athlete turns away from US flag during Olympic trials national anthem

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A female track and field star who’s also apparently a far-left activist disrespected the flag and national anthem at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Sunday in Eugene, Oregon.

After accepting a bronze medal for a hammer throw and taking a spot up on the podium next to her better-performing competitors, Brooke Andersen and Janee Kassanavoid, third-place competitor Gwen Berry turned her back as the anthem was played.

“While the music played, Berry placed her left hand on her hip and fidgeted. She took a quarter turn, so she was facing the stands, not the flag. Toward the end, she plucked up her black T-shirt with the words ‘Activist Athlete’ emblazoned on the front, and draped it over her head,” ESPN reported.

Her behavior wasn’t unexpected. Berry, who’s black, has been protesting perceived “injustice” in the United States since 2019.

During the playing of the national anthem at the 2019 Pan America Games in Lima, Peru, she raised her fist in protest.

“Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse,” she told USA Today at the time.

“It’s too important to not say something. Something has to be said. If nothing is said, nothing will be done, and nothing will be fixed, and nothing will be changed.”

It’s not clear what “injustice” she’d been referencing. Note that she made her remarks before the death of Minneapolis criminal suspect George Floyd.

Meanwhile, Berry is now accusing U.S. Olympic track and field officials of having set her up.

“I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose. I was pissed, to be honest,” she said to ESPN about the timing of the anthem.

“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there. 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.'”

Officials have disputed this.

USA Track and Field told ESPN that “the national anthem was scheduled to play at 5:20 p.m. today. 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.”

Plus, Berry has never shied away from attention.

“It’s really important for me and my community just to be able to represent. I think sports is a distraction. Sports is entertainment. But my purpose and my voice and mission is bigger than the sport,” she said in a statement afterward, according to The Washington Post.

“So me being able to represent my communities and my people and those who have died at the hands of police brutality, those who have died to this systemic racism, I feel like that’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. And that’s why I was here today.”

This raises the question of why anyone would even need to “set up” someone who’s already decided to make her sports career about left-wing activism versus about what she’s paid to do.

As for the people who actually care about the sport, they weren’t too thrilled by her stunt. View just some of the reaction below:

Much of the anger stemmed from the fact that Berry had voluntarily chosen to try and represent the United States at the U.S. Olympics.

Unfortunately for her haters, her efforts succeeded, and this flag-disrespecting woman is now headed to the 2021 Olympics to represent the United States.

Given her distaste for the United States, some feel that she’d be better off representing China or North Korea.

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Vivek Saxena

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