Gwen Berry faced backlash on Sunday for turning away from the flag when the national anthem played. The athlete doubled-down on her decision.
On Saturday, 31-year-old Berry faced the crowd instead of the flag and held up a black shirt reading “Activist Athlete.” Her decision sparked backlash, with one critic writing that Americans should return the favor.
“Let’s turn our backs on HER,” Kathy Tavoularis, a California Republican said.
Vic DeGrammont, a Florida Republican congressional candidate, tweeted: “If you can’t respect the flag or anthem then you shouldn’t be allowed to complete.”
Opinion writer Josh Jordan took a dig at Berry for thinking the Olympic trials are about 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 wrote.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wrote: “What is wrong with people? Growing up, everyone stood for the American flag. Didn’t matter your politics, race, sex, income, religion; everyone stood for the flag. It was one of those civic rituals that brought us together. It still should today.”
Journalist David Steinberg wrote that another athlete should replace Berry.
He tweeted: “Send the fourth-place finisher. Gwen Berry has a world of options if she doesn’t want to compete under our flag. Not a penny of taxpayer money should fund her campaign to make Americans hate each other.”
However, Berry refused to back down, and instead took shots at her critics.
On Sunday afternoon, she posted a picture of herself facing away from the flag, and captioned it: “Stop playing with me.”
Berry was slammed on Saturday after she claimed that the anthem was played while she was on stage to target her since she had been put on probation in August 2019 during the Pan-American Games in Peru because of raising her fist.
She stated: “I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose. I was pissed, to be honest. They had enough opportunities to play the national anthem before we got up there. I was thinking about what I should do. Eventually I stayed there and I swayed, I put my shirt over my head. It was real disrespectful. 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.”
Sources: New York Post