If you do not love America, why should you be allowed to represent America in the Olympic Games?
During Olympic trials in Eugene Oregon, “Activist Athlete” Gwen Berry stood at the podium with a bronze medal in hammer throw. At the same time the National Anthem played. Berry propped one hand on her hip and faced away from the flag in protest.
The other two athletes who stood at the podium with Berry faced the Oregon and United States flag in honor with their hands over their hearts.
The International Olympic Committee has made their policy on activism during the games very clear. Such displays of political protest will not be welcome in Tokyo.
Towards the end of the Anthem Berry draped over her head a shirt that said “Activist Athlete.” But these men and women who compete in the games are not entitled to be activists. Only to compete against other Olympians.
“I feel like it was a set-up, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said in regards to the timing of the anthem. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
In reality, nobody intentionally played the Anthem while Berry stood at the podium. The Anthem plays at a set and predetermined time each day. This time is 5:25 according to a USA Track and Field spokeswoman Susan Hazzard.
“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.” Hazzard said.
“The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.” Berry said. It would be interesting to find out what concepts included in the Anthem do not “speak” for her.
If she feels as though America is a bad place, or that she is not included, how could she or why would she compete in the Olympics while representing America?