During a time when our entire country is preparing for an Independence Day celebration, Americans are beaming with pride for our athletes who have done remarkable in the Olympic trails taking place nationwide.
While every single one of these men and women have worked toward this goal and sacrificed greatly to experience it, no one has sacrificed more for the red, white and blue than our military men and women.
One particular athlete is making headlines for her apparent protest of the American flag, anthem or both at the track & field team trials. Gwen Berry took third in the hammer throw Saturday before turning her back to the flag as the anthem played.
Berry was distraught in her interviews following the scene, claiming she was “set up” because she was instructed that the anthem would be played prior to the athletes taking the podium. When it was played as she stood atop the third-place podium, she showed her annoyance by placing her hand on her hip, turning away from the flag and draping an “Activist Athlete” shirt over her head.
She also made headlines two years ago in Peru for holding up her fist during the anthem, which cost her several sponsorships and a 12-month suspension.
Let me be the one to say it – I’m all for respectful demonstrations of racial, social and every other type of justice. It’s important to use your platform to stand your ground.
However, protesting the flag at the Olympic trials absolutely defeats the purpose of the games and disgraces an already battered image of America.
What motivates you to compete for a country you refuse to love? Why do people hate America so much? To love your country is to love her though her building and healing.
The entire point of the Olympics is to bring people together from every inch of the globe to compete and celebrate the success of our respective country’s finest athletes. The point of Team USA wearing the stars and stripes is to represent the flag and the place it represents.
Protesting the anthem has no place at the Olympic Games and I hope someone makes a stand against this display of ignorance sooner rather than later.