Gwen Berry, a U.S. Olympic hammer thrower, says she will protest against the United States while aiming to “represent the oppressed peoples” if she makes it to the medal stand this week.
Eyebrows raised as Berry refused to stand to attention for the national anthem in June during the Olympic Trials where she won’t bronze in the hammer throw. Until this weekend, Berry would not indicate if she intended to mount any protest if she medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Berry put to rest any question of her intentions on Sunday.
Berry insisted she has “earned the right” to protest during an interview after making it through the qualifying round in Toyko.
“I feel like I’ve earned the right to wear this uniform,” Berry said, adding, “I’ll represent the oppressed people. That’s been my message for the last three years.”
“I’m just focused on what I need to do,” Berry concluded. “Because all those people who hate me, they aren’t here. So, they can’t affect me.”
Berry debuted her attack on America two years ago while on the medal stand during the Pan American Games when she won gold. Berry was given 12-months probation for violating the rules against protesting on the medal stand.
While she protested during the Olympic trials this year, Berry insisted she was “set up” as the national anthem played as she stepped up to the medal stand. Berry, somehow, thinks the anthem was played to get at her during the ceremony.
Additionally, Berry claims the anthem contains racist lyrics, saying the U.S. national anthem “doesn’t speak for black Americans.”