News & Politics

Olympic Athlete Who Disrespected the Flag Turns Out to Be a Flaming Racist

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Gwen Berry, the Olympic hammer-thrower who turned her back to the flag during the playing of the national anthem, calling it “disrespectful” to black Americans, has a history of making racist tweets and making light of rape.

“This lil white boy being bad as hell!! I would smack his ass then stomp him!! Smh #whitepplKids hella disrespectful,” she said in 2011.

However you translate that, it’s racist. It also threatens violence against white people, which is a hate crime.

“Just saw this gurl wearing heels with white socks!! What the Hell..#chineseppl always try to start new trends..smh..ggguuurrrllll,” she said in 2011.

Don’t forget the Mexicans, Gwen: “Mexicans just don’t care about ppl,” she said in November 2012.

New York Post:

Berry also made light of rape in a tweet from October 2012.

“I’m about to rape my lunch,” she tweeted. “[Shout out] to all the females that’s gon get drunk, get recked by 4 dudes, then cry rape this weekend,” she added in another from the same year.

The tweets would have been posted long before Berry’s Olympic career and when she was in her early 20s.

Berry has moved to delete at least some of the postings after they were first unearthed.

But Gwen wants everyone to know she doesn’t hate America — sort of.

“I never said that I didn’t want to go to the Olympic Games,” Berry said in an interview on the Black News Channel. “I never said that I hated the country. All I said was I respect my people enough to not stand or acknowledge something that disrespects them. I love my people point blank, period.”

She never said she hated America. She just acts like it. In fact, she complained that “they” — the U.S.Olympic Committee — double-crossed her by playing the anthem when she was at the podium. She says they told her the anthem would be played before the three qualifiers marched to the podium to receive their medals.

“They had enough opportunities to play the national anthem before we got up there,” Berry said, according to The New York Post. “I was thinking about what I should do. Eventually I stayed there and I swayed, I put my shirt over my head. It was real disrespectful.”

“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” she continued. “… 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.”

If there’s ever been an instance in the history of international or national athletics of playing the national anthem before the athletes walked into the venue to the podium I’ve never heard of it. Berry is pretending injury where there is none.

But she wants everyone to know what a race hero she is.

“My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports,” she added. “I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.”

Related: Women’s Olympic Weightlifters Should Take a Knee if Trans Athletes Are Allowed to Compete

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced months ago that there would be no penalty for political protests by athletes. It’s one more good reason not to watch any of the events at the Tokyo Olympics.