‘The Anthem Doesn’t Speak for Me’: Gwen Berry Fires Back at Critics After Snubbing Anthem
Near the end of the anthem, Berry, who finished third at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Oregon, pulled out a back t-shirt that read “Activist Athlete” as she covered her face.
Addressing critics in a tweet Sunday evening, Berry wrote: “These comments really show that: 1.) people in American rally patriotism over basic morality. 2.) Even after the murder of George Floyd and so many others; the commercials, statements, and phony sentiments regarding black lives were just a hoax.”
“I never said I hated this country,” Berry stated. “People try to put words in my mouth but they can’t. That’s why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE.”
Following the trials, Berry told reporters that she was “set up” with the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
“I feel like it was a set-up, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the anthem being played. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
“The anthem doesn’t speak for me,” Berry added. “It never has. 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.”
Following her latest protest, Crenshaw called for Berry to be removed from the U.S. Olympic team, saying “the entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America.”
“It’s one thing when these NBA players do it, OK fine, we’ll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team? And it’s multiple cases of this,” Crenshaw added. “They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement is that you believe in the country representing.”