HOUSTON - Gwen Berry, an elite competitor in the Hammer Throw, was disparagingly inattentive
during the playing of the National Anthem following her third-place finish at the Olympic trials.
Berry then pulled a t-shirt over her head that read "activist athlete", prompting Houston congressman Dan Crenshaw to speak out on national television.
Congressman Crenshaw said, " We don't need any more activist athletes, you know, she should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America, that's the entire point. So you know it's one thing when these NBA players do it, okay fine, we'll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team, and it's multiple cases of this, they should be., that should be the bare minimum requirement is that you, that you believe in the country you're representing.
For the record, Gwen Berry claims she didn't expect the anthem to be played and that she was essentially "set-up".
Should an athlete be required to love or at least "respect", to one's country to represent it on the international stage?
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — For the past week, they’ve played the national anthem one time a night 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 shuffled her feet. 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 set-up, and they did it on purpose," Berry said of the timing of the anthem. "I was pissed, to be honest."
Berry’s reaction to the "Star-Spangled Banner" took its fair share of the spotlight on a blazing-hot second-to-last day at trials that also featured some blazing-fast times.