U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry had no problem snubbing the flag and anthem at the Olympic qualifiers, but doesn’t sound nearly as committed to protest at the Olympic games themselves.
During an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Berry was asked if she planned to protest at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The controversial “Activist Athlete” was non-committal in her response, saying: “We’ll see … It depends on how I’m feeling. It depends on what I want to do in that moment, and what I want to do for my people in that moment.”
U.S hammer thrower and Olympian Gwen Berry is responding to criticism over turning away from the flag while on the podium at the Olympic trials.
— Don Lemon Tonight (@DonLemonTonight) July 2, 2021
Berry caused an uproar late last week after she turned her back as the U.S. anthem played at the end of her competition.
Though, had the Constitution been read instead, it sounds like Berry would have been more respectful.
“I do respect the Constitution,” Berry told CNN. “But I will not stand for any symbol or song that does not stand for all people in America.”
Lemon pressed Berry to specifically say which parts of the song she finds offensive.
“It’s all of these words. Freedom, justice… these are things that do not hold true for all Americans.”
Berry did not always have these views, however. Earlier this week, an image surfaced of Berry proudly displaying the American flag on her personal website in the run-up to the 2016 games in Rio.
The site, since-deleted, also referenced Berry’s “dream of representing her country.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made it easier for Berry to protest at the Olympic games, should she decide to do so.
After saying that no athletes would be allowed to express political views during the games, the IOC softened those rules on Friday by allowing competitors to express views on the field of play, just not during ceremonies.