‘Y’all Are Obsessed With Me’: Gwen Berry, An Olympian Who Turned Away From The Flag During National Anthem, Responds To Criticism

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Gwen Berry, the Olympic hammer thrower who made headlines for turning her back on the flag when the national anthem played during Saturday’s Olympic trials, said that critics like Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw were “obsessed” with her.

“At this point, y’all are obsessed with me,” Berry said in a Monday tweet.

Her post was in response to Crenshaw, who said on Fox News that Berry should be kicked off the team for turning away from the flag.

“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.” (RELATED: POLL: Fewer Than 4 In 10 African Americans Feel Positive When Hearing The National Anthem)

Berry also said that she doesn’t hate the United States, which critics levied her way following the incident.

“I never said I hated this country!” she wrote. “People try to put words in my mouth but they can’t. That’s why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE.”

While standing on the podium during the Olympic trials, Berry turned away from the flag as the national anthem played and put a black t-shirt over her face that said “activist athlete.” 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” and that she “was pissed, to be honest.”

She placed third in the trials and earned a spot competing in the Tokyo Olympics.