Thomas Gallatin / June 29, 2021

Those America-Hating U.S. Olympians

A field athlete disrespects the national anthem in a podium ceremony; another wants to burn the flag.

Why compete and represent your nation in the Olympic Games if you hate your country? That’s a question American athlete Gwen Berry should be asked following her recent antics.

On Saturday, Berry, who placed third in the hammer throw and qualified for the coming Olympic Games in Tokyo, turned away from facing the U.S. flag while standing on the podium as the national anthem began to play during the medal ceremony. Already infamous for her “woke” activism, Berry then pulled a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Activist Athlete” over her head.

When questioned afterwards, Berry first laughed it off, saying, “I feel like it was a setup.” She then elaborated: “I feel like they did that on purpose, and I was pissed, to be honest. … I put my shirt over my head. It was real disrespectful.” By which she meant to her. She added: “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.”

Wait, who was doing the disrespecting? The great irony here is Berry’s blindness to her own disrespectful behavior. Like Colin Kaepernick and other “woke” athletes, self-delusion is a defining characteristic. Their entitlement grows out of an outsized view of their own self-importance and self-righteousness based entirely upon the social justice victimology hierarchy. During the Pan-American Games in 2019, Berry raised a clenched fist on the podium during the national anthem for which she was reprimanded and received a 12-month probation. That seemed to only further “affirm” her victimology.

Berry’s latest antics showed an even greater degree of contempt for America and her flag. “It really wasn’t a message,” she insisted. “I didn’t want to be up there. … My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism.”

Following a lot of blowback, Berry dubiously claimed: “I never said I hated this country! People try to put words in my mouth but they can’t. That’s why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE.” The question is, does Berry love Americans of all colors? Because America is not a color, nor is it a race or one ethnic group. It never has been. Nor was it a nation birthed out of racism and slavery as those peddling the fake history of Critical Race Theory so dogmatically declare.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) knows a thing or two about honoring and respecting the country he loves. He blasted Berry’s offensive display, calling for her to be removed from the U.S. Olympic team. “We don’t need any more activist athletes,” Crenshaw declared. “She should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America.” Crenshaw added: “It’s one thing when these NBA players do it — OK, fine, we’ll stop watching — but now the Olympic team? And it’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement is that you believe in the country.”

One of the other cases to which Crenshaw alluded was that of Chelsea Wolfe, a gender dysphoric male who identifies as female. Wolfe is an alternate on the U.S. Olympic BMX freestyle team, and he also came out against the U.S. “My goal,” he said, “is to win the Olympics so I can burn a U.S. flag on the podium.” Of course, like Berry, Wolfe slams anyone who interpreted his words as hatred of America, claiming they were “sorely mistaken” because he’s fighting against fascism. Burning your own nation’s flag is a strange way to fight fascism.

On a final note, it wasn’t all that long ago that the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The victory was a moment of immense national pride — flag-waving patriotism was everywhere. Is it too much to ask that Olympians today at least try to foster the same spirit?

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