Hammer thrower Gwen Berry placed her left hand on her hip and turned away so she was facing the stands, not the flag, while the national anthem played.
Toward the end of the song, she put up her black T-shirt with the words “Activist Athlete” emblazoned on the front, and draped it over her head. Berry, who famously protested during the anthem in the 2019 Pan American Games, caught attention for that moment.
Following her protest of the anthem, she drew ire from some conservative voices. Herschel Walker’s son, Christian, was one of them. He took to Twitter to blast her for her actions.
Berry has since responded:
“your so…. umm.. passionate …”
Walker, of course, made sure to fire right back.
“You’re*. And YOU’RE so… ummm…disrespectful.
Get off twitter and go work on your attitude and craft. If you spent less time social justice-ing and more time practicing maybe you wouldn’t have lost. 3rd place is losing in my book.”
Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw said Monday that Berry should be removed from the team while Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, “Why does the Left hate America?”
Berry responded to the criticism on social media, saying people’s comments shows they “rally patriotism over basic morality” and “the commercials, statements, and phony sentiments regarding black lives were just a hoax.”
“I never said I hated this country!” she said in another tweet. “People try to put words in my mouth but they can’t. That’s why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE.”
Berry said she felt the playing of the anthem after her award ceremony “felt like it was a set-up.”