Wednesday, August 4

Gwen Berry responds to criticism of Olympic protest: ‘I never said I hated this country’

Gwen Berry has responded to several complaints and criticisms directed against her after she protested during the playing of the national anthem at the United States Olympic Athletics Trials on Saturday.

Berry, an outspoken activist and track and field athlete, won a bronze medal in the hammer throw to earn a spot for the Tokyo Games; During the medal ceremony, he stepped away from the American flag and displayed a black T-shirt that read “Activist Athlete” on the front. Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, he said he felt the organizers deliberately touched the “Sequin Star Flag” to coincide with the ceremony.

“I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said. “He was angry, to be honest.”

A USA Track and Field spokeswoman said the anthem, which occurred once each night at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, was scheduled for 5:20 p.m. It was finally heard at 5:25 p.m. to coincide with Berry’s trip to the medal podium.

MORE: Gwen Berry flips flags as national anthem plays: ‘I feel like it was a trap’

Amid online criticism of his stance, Berry continued to make his point, tweeting a photo Sunday with the caption: “Stop messing with me.”

Berry posted various messages He received from people who criticized his position, many of which included vulgar or distrustful language. She also responded to more notable criticisms such as Fox News Y Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), the last of whom said she should be removed from the team for turning her back on the flag.

Berry also claimed that anything negative she has heard after her rally, which she says has been misrepresented to misrepresent her message, is proof that critics “support patriotism over basic morals.”

MORE: USA Olympic Track and Field Test Results: Team USA 2021 Tracking for Each Men’s and Women’s Event

Others have responded positively or defended Berry’s right to protest. White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended her rally when asked about it on Monday.

“I know (President Joe Biden is) incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it stands for, especially our men and women who serve in uniform around the world,” said Psaki. “I would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country means recognizing that there are times when, as a country, we fall short of our highest ideals. And it means respecting the rights of the people that the Constitution grants them to protest peacefully ”.

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