If you turn your back on our flag, should you represent the USA in Tokyo?


2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 9
EUGENE, OREGON - JUNE 26: Gwendolyn Berry (L), third place, turns away from U.S. flag during the U.S. National Anthem as DeAnna Price (C), first place, and Brooke Andersen, second place, also stand on the podium after the Women's Hammer Throw final.

Photo: Getty Images North America

It happened in Oregon at the USA Track and Field Olympic trials over the weekend.

Gwen Berry placed third in the women's hammer competition behind Brooke Andersen and DeAnna Price and then when the Star Spangled Banner started to play, Berry turned her back on the flag and moved away from her competitors.

The anthem was not playing to honor them. It was playing as it did at the start of the evening session every day. It happened to coincide with their medal ceremony. Berry also put a T-shirt with the words “Activist Athlete” over her head.

She feels it was a "set-up". She told the press “I feel like it was a setup. I feel like they did that on purpose… I was pissed, to be honest.”

The anthem was scheduled to play at 5.20pm local time. It did.

“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” Berry said. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”

She has the freedom to do this obviously, but should someone who turns their back on our flag be allowed to represent the USA at the Tokyo Olympics?

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