Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called Monday for US Olympic track and field athlete Gwen Berry to be kicked off the squad after she turned her back on the American flag while the national anthem was played over the weekend at the Olympic trials in Oregon.

Berry qualified to represent the United States at the Olympics on Saturday, placing third in the hammer throw at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. While she was on stage receiving her medal, the anthem began to play at a pre-set time. Berry turned her back to the flag and held up a t-shirt that read “Activist Athlete.”

“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 said on Fox News. “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.”

Republicans Rep. Dan Crenshaw made similar comments in an interview on Fox News “We don’t need any more ‘activist athletes.’ She should be removed from the team. You know, the entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point, okay?” Crenshaw said Monday. “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. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement, is that you believe in the country you’re representing.”

Crenshaw added that Berry’s actions were part of what he called the “pathology that occurs when we’re teaching critical race theory in our institutions.

“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.”

Both men served in the military, Crenshaw as a Navy SEAL and Cotton as a Ranger-qualified member of the Army.

The anthem is pre-scheduled to play each day at the trials. On Saturday, the anthem was scheduled for 5:20 p.m.

Berry said she felt like the anthem playing while she was on the podium receiving her bronze medal was a “setup.”

“I feel like it was set up,” Berry said after her protest. “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.”

“It was funny because they said they were going to play it before we walked out,” she added. “It just happened they played it when we were out there. So, you know, it’s okay. I don’t want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”

Watch it here: BNC/Youtube

Sources: Daily Wire, New York Post, The Hill, Fox News

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2 Responses

  1. Lisa

    any athlete that competes for the olympic team that displays hatred towards our country need to be kicked out of the olympics…that simple

    Reply

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