“My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today”
Gwen Berry, a hammer thrower who qualified for the U.S. Olympic team during the trials, apparently is trying out for the wrong country’s Olympic team. During the trials, she turned away from the American flag and said she was “pissed” that the “Star Spangled Banner” was played while she stood on the podium for a bronze trial medal.
Berry says it felt like a “set up” to be forced to endure the horrific torture of seeing the flag and of hearing the national anthem . . . . of the country whose Olympic team she wants to join. Surreal.
For the past week, the national anthem has played one time per evening at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. On Saturday, the song happened to start while outspoken activist Gwen Berry was standing on the podium after receiving her bronze medal in the hammer throw.
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.
“I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the timing of the anthem. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
Of course it wasn’t a “setup” and it wasn’t done on “purpose” to target her in her own precious unique specialness that, in her own self-aggrandizing brain, puts her at the center of everything. How could it not be an attack on her fabulousness? After all, she’s the only reason on earth the taped anthem would play . . . at its scheduled time.
Berry found it to be no matter of coincidence that she was front and center during the anthem. Unlike the Olympics, anthems aren’t played to accompany medal ceremonies at the trials. But the hammer throwers received their awards just before the start of the evening session, which has been kicking off all week with a videotaped rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
USA Track and Field spokeswoman Susan Hazzard said “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.” On Saturday, the music started at 5:25.
And so, while Price and Andersen stood still on the podium with their hands over the hearts and stared straight ahead at the American and Oregon flags, Berry fidgeted and paced on the third step. Then she turned away and finally grabbed her T-shirt.
Stop playing with me pic.twitter.com/WLN3clqOCM
— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) June 27, 2021
‘”I didn’t really want to be up there,” she said. “Like I said, it was a setup. I was hot, I was ready to take my pictures and get into some shade.”
And so, while winner DeAnna Price and second-place finisher Brooke Andersen stood still on the podium with their hands over the hearts and stared straight ahead at the American and Oregon flags, Berry fidgeted and paced on the third step. Then turned away. And finally grabbed her T-shirt.
Gwendolyn Berry said she felt like the national anthem playing at the podium 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.”
“My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports,” Berry said. “I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.”
We’re going to see more of this. It’s going to make patriotic Americans cheer for foreign competitors and against the anti-American Americans.
Hammer thrower Gwen Berry turns away from flag while anthem plays at trials – 'I feel like it was a set-up' https://t.co/TnIFwzy5Fh
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 27, 2021
There was a time when our nation really supported our Olympians; they represented the best of our athletics, they were American heroes of a kind, and children wanted to emulate them by getting the same haircut (remember the Dorothy Hamill?) and eating their Wheaties. They wanted to grow up to be amazing American athletes and bring home the Olympic glory. No more. We now have Olympic athletes who are proud to hate and disdain our country while acting like privileged spoiled brats on the world stage.
What is wrong with people?
Growing up, everyone stood for the American flag. Didn’t matter your politics, race, sex, income, religion; everyone stood for the flag. It was one of those civic rituals that brought us together. It still should today. 🇺🇸https://t.co/sCidRZr05T
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) June 27, 2021
“Activist athletes” are a thing these days, and that’s all well and good, but if you are representing the United States on the world stage in any capacity, you should be able to do so without disrespecting—and embarrassing—our country. As far as I am concerned, this is disqualifying behavior, and the U.S. Olympic team should respond accordingly.DONATE
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