Sen. Tom Cotton is among others lawmakers who called for anthem-protesting Olympic athlete Gwen Berry to be eliminated from the U.S. team.
“I don’t think it’s too much, when athletes are competing, to wear the stars and stripes — to compete under the stars and stripes in the Olympics — for them to simply honor that flag and our anthem on the medal stand,” he told Fox News. “If Miss Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there is no reason she needs to compete for our country. She should be removed from the Olympic team.”
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Gwen Berry was third place in the hammer throw on Saturday during the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
While she was getting her bronze medal, the anthem began playing.
The first and the second-place finishers hold the flag on their hearts; Berry turned and covered her head with a black T-shirt on which was written Activist Athlete.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw immediately called for her removal from the team.
“We don’t need any more activist athletes,” he told Fox News.
“She should be removed from the team,” Crenshaw said. “The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. It’s the entire point.”
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Berry answered this: “At this point, y’all are obsessed with me.”
At this point, y’all are obsessed with me https://t.co/HBWCE28s7x
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
“I feel like it was set up,” Berry said according to the Washington Post. “I feel like they did that on purpose, and I was pissed, to be honest,”
“I was thinking about what should I do. Eventually, I just stayed there and just swayed. I put my shirt over my head.
“It was real disrespectful. I know they did that on purpose, but it’ll be all right. I see what’s up.”
Also, the athlete shared that she knew what will follow.
“It was funny because they said they were going to play it before we walked out,” Berry told The Post. “It just happened they played it when we were out there. So, you know, it’s OK. “I really don’t want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem don’t speak for me. It never has.”
Susan Hazzard, USA Track and Field spokesperson, shared:
“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,”