It didn’t take too long for Republicans to start speaking out against Gwen Berry’s silent protest against the national anthem during the U.S. Olympic trials.
Over the weekend, the hammer thrower was seen turning off to the side and placing her hands on her waist while the national anthem played. She later said the timing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” came off like a setup after it was played five minutes late while Berry and two other competitors stood on the podium.
Now, in response to her silent protest, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called for Berry to get kicked off Team USA ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, NY Post reports.
“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,” Cotton told “Fox News Primetime.”
“If Ms. Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there’s no reason she needs to compete for our country. She should be removed from the Olympic team,” he added.
Cotton isn’t the only Republican politician speaking out against Berry. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) shared the same sentiments as Cotton in not wanting Berry to represent the US at the upcoming Olympics games.
“The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point, OK?” Crenshaw said, as noted by The Washington Post. “It’s one thing when these NBA players do it [protest during the anthem]. OK, fine, we’ll just 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 you’re representing.”
Crenshaw also found a way to link Berry’s silent protest to the current conversation around Critical Race Theory being taught in schools.
“Critical race theory, again, basically teaches that our institutions are racist, that our systems are deeply racist, that you can’t see the racism, because it’s subtle, and if you deny it, it’s because of your white fragility. But you’re teaching people this constantly, and this is what it results in. It results in these displays of hatred towards our own country, and it’s gotta stop.”
Following her protest in Oregon over the weekend, Berry said she didn’t even want to talk about the national anthem “because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”
At this point, y’all are obsessed with me https://t.co/HBWCE28s7x
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
On Monday, Berry responded to Crenshaw by sharing a video of his harsh critique on Twitter. “At this point, y’all are obsessed with me,” she said.
And on Tuesday, The View’s Meghan McCain weighed in and blasted Berry saying, “It’s not about you!”
“It is not appropriate or patriotic to go to a foreign country where you’re supposed to be representing America, and act like it’s just about you,” she said.
Check out McCain’s full rant below.
.@MeghanMcCain went off on Gwen Berry after the athlete turned away from the flag as the national anthem played, with #TheView host saying she “will die on this hill that it is not appropriate or patriotic.”
“It’s not about you, it’s about all of us.” pic.twitter.com/cKFbnlcYvs
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) June 29, 2021