The U.S. Olympic hammer thrower who turned her back during the national anthem last weekend is sponsored by sportswear maker Puma and a key defund the police group called Color of Change.
Indeed, the far-left group was instrumental in securing Puma’s sponsorship for Olympic competitor Gen Berry, Fox News reported.
Color of Change is a stark supporter of defunding American police departments, Fox said.
“Policing is a violent institution that must end. We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision,” Color of Change President Rashad Robinson said in June, the cable news network noted.
Color of Change has also pushed a growing number of active petitions to have the budgets of various police departments slashed.
The Washington Post added that Color Of Change appealed to Puma on Berry’s behalf and struck a deal for Puma to give Berry a deal.
“Rather than paying Berry to endorse and promote its brand,” the Post wrote, “Color of Change cajoled and pressured companies to support her so Berry could maintain a platform from which to advocate. The partnership proved pivotal … the apparel company Puma announced it signed Berry to a contract that will pay her $15,000, provide her equipment and apparel and place her in a campaign titled ‘She Moves Us.”
Puma marketing chief Adan Petrick added, “We have the responsibility to support those calling for change.”
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 21, 2021
Berry has often told media outlets that she is conflicted about representing the U.S. in her sport. “It has always, always, always been something I have been very uncomfortable with,” she told the Post.
“I try to compartmentalize it. I try to say, ‘The USA can mean a lot of things.’ I try to give it my own meaning, just to say that I do deserve to represent a country that my people have built uncompensated, have worked for and have survived throughout,” Berry said. “I just have to give myself a different meaning of it, regardless of how uncomfortable I am with what it is sometimes.”
Last Sunday was not the first time Berry has protested the playing of the national anthem. Indeed, early this year she earned a reprimand over her actions at the Pan American Games where she mounted a protest against America during the medal ceremony.
During the ceremony at the end of this year’s games, Berry raised a fist as she stood on the dais. This went against the Pan Am Games’ prohibition on protests. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee later issued a letter of reprimand to her and U.S. fencer Race Imboden — who took a knee — for violating the rules.
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