Gwen Berry Olympic Trials
Source: Gwen Berry photo courtesy of Bob Ramsak via Wikimedia

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. 

“Activist Athlete”

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.”

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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.  

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.

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.

Berry Met With Backlash

As you can imagine, she was inundated with backlash online for disrespecting the US.

Representative Dan Crenshaw even goes to far as to say she should be removed from the Olympic team.

She replied to the backlash:

And, there are those that praised her as well.

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.

BACKSTORY: Transgender Athlete Chelsea Wolfe Says Goal Is To ‘Burn a US Flag’ at Olympic Podium

Gwen Berry discusses her National Anthem protest in the video below. 

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