During the Olympic trials on Saturday, hammer thrower Gwen Berry reacted to the playing of the National Anthem by turning away from the flag, then pulling up her shirt that said “Activist Athlete” and draping it over her head.
While many of those watching the trials were upset by Berry’s disrespect for the American flag and anthem, Berry said she was “pissed” and that she felt it was a set up.
“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.”
Berry, who came in third but qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, said she wanted to “help her community” more than she wanted an Olympic medal.
It seems that the U.S. Olympic Committee is set to allow people to raise their fists or kneel at the flag in Tokyo despite Tokyo’s prohibition of “demonstrations” within the lines, but to my way of thinking, if an Olympic athlete can’t show a basic respect for the flag, they shouldn’t be representing that flag and our country in the games.
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