News & Politics

Rep. Crenshaw: Gwen Berry Should Be Booted From U.S. Olympic Team. Berry Responds.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a former Navy SEAL who lost his eye in combat defending the country, appeared on Fox News Monday morning and was asked about hammer thrower Gwen Berry’s actions during the nation’s Olympic trials.

Over the weekend Berry says she mistakenly thought the National Anthem was being played for her and the two competitors who finished ahead of her. She turned her back and put a shirt that said “Activist Athlete” over her head.

The playing of the anthem was planned for the same time each day and all athletes had been advised of it, raising the question of whether Berry really did not expect to hear it or she planned to protest it once she was on the podium to seek attention. Being anti-American is the quickest way to fame in 2021 America. She may reasonably believe that Nike will offer her a lucrative sponsorship, if it hasn’t already.

Her actions have certainly made the country aware of her, at the expense of the two athletes who beat her, and despite the fact that she participates in a relatively obscure sport. Berry’s quote, saying the anthem does not represent her and “never did,” has drawn additional criticism as one might expect. Perhaps all this is just how a woke athlete looking for a big payday seizes the day.

Crenshaw told Fox that he thinks since Berry disdains America, she should not represent America at the world’s athletic competition in Tokyo. The Olympics are sorted by national teams.

Ainsley Earhardt asked her guest, “Dan, what was your reaction? You fought for our country to the Olympic hammer thrower, Gwen Berry; she turned her back on the flag during the anthem and put a black t-shirt over her face that said ‘Activist athlete?’”

“We don’t need any more activist athletes,” Crenshaw replied. “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, okay?”

He then compared the protestors to NBA players who also knelt during the anthem to bring attention to racial justice issues following the extrajudicial murder of George Floyd. “This is one thing when we see NBA players do it, okay fine; we’ll just stop watching.” He continued, “but now the Olympic team? It’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement is that you believe in the country representing.”

Berry responded to Crenshaw, who is nearly blind due to his combat injuries defending all Americans’ right to free speech, as one might expect: like a selfish brat.

Yeah, no. The reality is, no one had heard of Berry until her podium antics, which may have been planned with the purpose of drawing attention to her. Few Americans are likely to cheer for her to win anything, especially given the fact she didn’t win the U.S. trials, her actions took attention away from the two who finished ahead of her, and Berry competes in a sport that’s far from the top-watched summer competitions. Network coverage will surely feature her endlessly for the sake of the conflict the mainstream media constantly stirs and on which it thrives, though.

The Olympic games are traditionally a time when Americans come together to cheer on Team USA. Those of us of a certain age remember the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” as a moment when the Cold War seemed to begin to turn in America’s favor. It was just a game, but it was also the Olympics, and American underdogs taking it to and beating the mighty Soviet juggernaut.

Given the national atmosphere at the moment now, we could use a pause and a national coming together. Our national family is fractured. Even the guardians of our founding documents are throwing shade on the founders of the nation, as if any of them or anyone living could have devised a system of government in the middle of a war that has brought about as much human progress as the American system has. We’re living in a pandemic now to be sure, but not just coronavirus. We’re in the midst of a pandemic of arrogance and ingratitude.

The Olympics could come at just the right time and give us all a break. But then we remember who is president, what a weasely and divisive demagogue he has been throughout his career, and how so many of our athletes are now woke and have no perspective on America’s place in history and are not really going to the Tokyo games to represent anything other than themselves — and the Olympics may be just another orgy of anti-American noise. If that happens, expect Americans to tune the games out in droves, and another argument over the soul of the nation to commence.