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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.
Gwen Berry, who plays a sport for a living and has reportedly made 7 figures doing so, complains that the US is unfair, turns her back on the flag at the US Olympic Trials. pic.twitter.com/FsPOGE7wvS
— HelvidiusPriscus 🇺🇸🦈 (@HelvidiusPrisc) June 27, 2021
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.
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) August 11, 2019
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:
I think it is time to start cheering for foreign competitors against THESE anti-American U.S. athletes. The MSM w/ their constant “hate America” messages are winning in their dividing of our country.
— Elle08 (@zoeellemadison) June 27, 2021
@MzBerryThrows you should be ashamed of yourself turning away from the flag is disgusting move to another country
— Anita Tinsley (@AnitaTinsley) June 27, 2021
If you don’t love your country, please don’t be a hypocrite and compete for it!! Oh, and who the heck wears Pumas? Didn’t even know they still existed. Sort of like you when the olympics are over.
— Liquor Man (@LiquorMan10wife) June 27, 2021
@MzBerryThrows move to Cuba or China and be free of your “systemic racism” I’ll bet your back pretty quick. You’ve had your 15 min of fame now go sweep something
— Jeff Bailey (@TheSisko) June 27, 2021
I just don’t see how these protest do any more than divide us based on our skin color and political beliefs?
Nor do I understand what specifically we are protesting. What exactly do you want to change?
— Jon (@AwokenD45) June 27, 2021
I hope @MzBerryThrows loses big time. We don’t need her on our podium. Move to Canada.
— Broadcast Media Rick (@BrdcastMediaGuy) June 27, 2021
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.
Pack your crap and move to China or North Korea if you dislike this country so much! Try doing that crap over there and see where it gets you! I protected this country so you could stand there and disrespect our great flag and country!
— CB (@UpstateNY62) June 27, 2021
If you don’t love the country that gives you the freedom of speech, then you might want to represent North Korea, because you shouldn’t represent this country. I challenge you to find a better and more free country!
— Dr. J Walker (@DrJWalker2) June 27, 2021
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