Hammer Thrower Gwen Berry Protests National Anthem At US Olympic Trials
Hammer thrower Gwen Berry claims she was set up when the National Anthem played when she was on the podium at the US Olympic trials.
Gwen Berry, an American who qualified for this summer’s Olympics, turned away from the American flag when the National Anthem played. She even claimed she was “set up” by being on the podium when the Star Spangled Banner began.
Berry placed third in the hammer throw at the US Olympic trials. She will be heading to Tokyo to represent the very country she is protesting.
She has a history of disrespect during the National Anthem and it appears she will be taking that same approach to Tokyo.
In addition to turning her back, she also covered her face with a black t-shirt that reads “Activist Athlete.”
“I feel like it was a set-up, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the anthem being played. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
The National Anthem only played once a night during the US Olympic trials. Berry took issue with the the fact that this happened when she was not the podium. She even tweeted about her displeasure.
Stop playing with me pic.twitter.com/WLN3clqOCM
— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) June 27, 2021
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Opinion writer Josh Jordan mocked Berry’s self centered opinion that the playing of the National Anthem was a coordinated assault on her.
“Yes, the US Olympics committee spent their time meticulously planning to make sure that the national anthem was played at the exact moment she was on the podium… because everyone knows the Olympics is all about (checks tweet) Gwen Berry,” he tweeted.
Yes, the US Olympics committee spent their time meticulously planning to make sure that the national anthem was played at the exact moment she was on the podium… because everyone knows the Olympics is all about (checks tweet) Gwen Berry. https://t.co/5sCU4J1heI
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) June 27, 2021
Gwen Berry also protested during the 2019 Pan Am games.
The track athlete raised her fist at the end of the National Anthem when she was on the podium two years ago. She was suspended for 12 months by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for that move.
She has a track record of mixing politics in with sports. You can watch that in the tweeted video below.
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) August 11, 2019
Berry Met With Backlash
As you can imagine, she was inundated with backlash online for disrespecting the US.
Hammer Thrower, Gwen Berry, acted like a disgraceful pig during the National Anthem at the U.S. Olympic Trials Saturday. If she hates our country and flag so much then DON'T let her her represent the United States ! 🇺🇸
— Razorsmack 🇺🇸 (@Razorsmack1) June 28, 2021
Representative Dan Crenshaw even goes to far as to say she should be removed from the Olympic team.
Dan Crenshaw calls for Gwen Berry to be removed from the Olympic team because she turned away from the flag pic.twitter.com/c2xWKLXPPJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 28, 2021
The 1st amendment gives Gwen Berry the right to completely embarrass herself here. That same amendment gives me the right to rip her for doing it. pic.twitter.com/5W8IUExeX7
— Miles Commodore (@miles_commodore) June 28, 2021
It's OK Gwen Berry, I'll stand for the flag for you. It's a damn shame you can't be proud of your country and represent. At this point I don't care if you medal or not
— 🤠🇺🇸MO Patriot🇺🇸🇮🇱 (@WeThePeopleElec) June 27, 2021
She replied to the backlash:
These comments really show that:
1.) people in American rally patriotism over basic morality
2.) Even after the murder of George Floyd and so many others; the commercials, statements, and phony sentiments regarding black lives were just a hoax
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
And, there are those that praised her as well.
In solidarity with Gwen Berry! https://t.co/0prWcoOKqU
— Anthony V. Clark (@anthonyvclark20) June 27, 2021
Thank you! I never said I hated this country! People try to put words in my mouth but they can’t. That’s why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE. ✊🏾 https://t.co/fbKB5d9H2I
— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
Berry’s Plans To Protest At The Olympics
This will be Gwen Berry’s second Olympics and she plans on using her spotlight on the global stage to continue her protest against the country she represents.
“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.”
Berry promised to continue her protest at the Tokyo Olympics. She’s not sure on the specifics but she will protesting in some manner.
“Sports is entertainment. But my purpose and my voice and my mission is bigger than the sport,” the leftwing activist athlete said. “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 (due) 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.”
She also said she thought she was being disrespected by the trial organizers, “The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has. I didn’t really want to be up there. Like I said, it was a setup. I was hot, I was ready to take my pictures and get into some shade.”
Berry isn’t the only American planning on protesting at the Olympics. Transgender BMX Freestyle alternate Chelsea Wolfe dreams of burning a flag on the podium.
Gwen Berry discusses her National Anthem protest in the video below.