Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw said Monday morning on Fox News that Gwen Berry, the Olympic hammer thrower who turned away from the flag during the national anthem, should be kicked off the team.
Berry turned away from the flag as the national anthem played and put a black t-shirt over her face that said “activist athlete” during Saturday’s track and field Olympic trials. She later said that the five-minute delay that resulted in the anthem being played while she was on the podium felt like “a set-up.”
“I feel like it was a set-up, and they did it on purpose,” Berry complained. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
The 31-year-old placed third in the trial and qualified for the Olympics in Tokyo. The images of Berry with her back turned quickly went viral on social media. (RELATED: POLL: Fewer Than 4 In 10 African Americans Feel Positive When Hearing The National Anthem)
“We don’t need any more activist athletes,” Crenshaw said. “She should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point.”
Dan Crenshaw calls for Gwen Berry to be removed from the Olympic team because she turned away from the flag pic.twitter.com/c2xWKLXPPJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 28, 2021
The representative compared Berry’s actions to NBA players who kneeled for the anthem before games, arguing that Berry’s actions were worse because she is supposed to be representing the country.
“It’s one thing when these NBA players do it, okay fine, we’ll just stop watching,” Crenshaw said. “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.”