Olympic Athlete: National Anthem is Disrespectful to African Americans

Gwen Berry turned her back on the American flag during the national anthem. Recently she doubled down on her controversial protest, insisting that the Star-Spangled Banner is “disrespectful” to black Americans.

“If you know your history, you know the full song of the national anthem. The third paragraph speaks to slaves in America — our blood being slain … all over the floor,” Berry, 31, said on Black News Channel.

“It’s disrespectful, and it does not speak for black Americans. It’s obvious,” she added. “There’s no question.”

The third stanza of the anthem contains the lyrics, “Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution,” and, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” 

The two-time Olympic qualifying hammer thrower also reiterated earlier comments she made on Twitter in response to the backlash, insisting she does not hate her country.

“I never said that I didn’t want to go to the Olympic games. I never said that I hated the country. I never said that” Berry told the outlet. 

“All I said was I respect my people enough to not stand or acknowledge something that disrespects them.”

The athlete’s comments come after she claimed that the incident at the Olympic trials in Oregon was a “setup.”

“I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said Saturday after “The Star-Spangled Banner” played while she stood on the podium with her bronze medal.

She insisted that the national anthem playing while she stood there was deliberate after her previous anthem protest during the 2019 Pan-American Games in Peru.

“I was pissed, to be honest,” she said.

The demonstration sparked fiery criticism and some vicious attacks flung at the Olympian, including from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who said Berry should be yanked off the United States’ roster.

“If Ms. Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there’s no reason she needs to compete for our country,” the Arkansas senator said Monday on Fox News. “She should be removed from the Olympic team.” Agreed!

Not surprisingly, White House press secretary Jen Psaki came to Berry’s defense.

“I haven’t spoken to the president specifically about this, but I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world,” she told reporters at her daily briefing.

“He would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we are — as a country, haven’t lived up to our highest ideals,” Psaki added.

“And it means respecting the rights of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest.”

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16 Thoughts to “Olympic Athlete: National Anthem is Disrespectful to African Americans”

  1. Craig S Vickers

    If she doesn’t want to stand with the other of Americans she doesn’t need to be partisapating in the sports for america

  2. Willie

    She needs to educate herself on the flag. and learn what the flag stands for. If all the brave men did not hold that flag up we would be a part of Europe, right now Black and whites and all walks of life healed that flag up some with their dead bodies. The anthem tells the story of what happened that day when we were able to keep our freedom.

  3. Morningstar1957

    Well I think she should be kicked off the team. They never spelled as much blood as the Native Americans did and all we hear about is black people. The Native Americans we here 1st and murdered for the gold then put on reservations to suffer and die

  4. Dave Fischer

    This brain dead asshole has no idea what the words ARE, or what they mean, in our National Anthem. …..she worked hard to achieve her talent and then wasted it by acting like a total spoiled asshole, which is all she seems to be…sorry, lady, no sympathy from me, or the millions of Americans you pissed off. You should be removed from, EVER, representing America in any sport….and I do hope that any company that would use YOU, as a spokesman, goes broke by showing you any support, you deserve NONE, from anyone…my opinion

  5. Mark S Smith

    Peacefully protest YES, But NOT in conjunction with and NOT in front of the world do you disrespect our country and it’s flag. KICK HER OUT.

  6. ShadowMerlin

    The third stanza of “The Star Spangled Banner” is not derogatory to slaves, and most certainly not racist.

    Too many people conveniently forget that not all Blacks were slaves (some were free men and actually owned slaves) and not all slaves were Black. We were taught that slaves equated to Black, thereby creating a reason to hate based on race.

  7. Bill Peterseim

    Sick and tired of these privileged blacks who were NEVER slaves clinging to their “plantation mentality” (a term actually used by many knowledgeable BLACKS to describe their activists brothers and sisters. If they KNEW 1% of what they run their mouths about, they would know that AFRICA has the longest running history of slavery in the world, dating back to cavemen. Their own village chiefs would often sell them. The black muslims of north Africa hooked up with whites to promote slave trading. Blacks rounded up blacks to sell or trade to whites for work in new colonies. Nothing different than what black villagers had been doing for thousands of years. Why? Well, for one thing: No television. For another, no video games. No hip hop. Bored, as they could only “dance” straight up and down in place so many weeks running on Friday nights that they would propose raiding the neighboring village and taking slaves, goodies, and women. That worked for that week. The next week, another village raided them for the same reasons and so it went. And what ALL of these dunces miss is the fact that THEIR ancestors being caught by other blacks and sold to slave traders heading to north America, was the best thing to happen for most if not all of today’s black Americans. Why? you ask. Have you ever once considered “life” in Africa, particularly hundreds of years ago. You got to go haul some water. You return and your child is gone. Then you find birds and jackals finishing off his or her leg after the larger predators grabbed and ate most of the child. Then others were killed by poisonous or constrictor snakes. Crocodiles grab off adults, elephants trample them, and even today, hippos kill more black Africans than any other species. Malaria still kills tens of thousands of black Africans today and millions since slavery began. These constantly whining blacks with their large-screen TVs (some looted) computers, Game Boys, etc AND CARS, including those on welfare, have life TODAY infinitely better than black Africans IN Africa. Oh, and my wife made several mission trips to Botswana and South Africa before her death and traveled to the bush and women’s prisons and the REAL black Africans told her to tell the so-called “African-Americas” back here that they would appreciate it if they would STOP calling themselves “African-Americans” because they AREN’T and their lifestyles are DISGRACEFUL and an embarrassment to the real black Africans IN Africa.

  8. Billy W

    If she is so unhappy with the freedom here let her try to find another nation that will put up with her crap. Leave now you disresputful non American. Is she a follower of BLM or Antifa ?

  9. JoPaul

    Historically Ignorant woke people like Gwen Berry. Facts don’t matter, Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem during the attack on Fort Sumter which started the civil war and ultimately the freeing of slaves. Many black men and women gave their lives in support of our flag and country. She disrespects their service to our country. Black soldiers fought in the Civil War and all subsequent wars. She is a disgrace to her ancestors and her race. She is supposed to be supporting her country at the Olympics. Another ignorant woke idiot.

  10. LMS

    I have one statement “C–t, if you hate this country this much by disrepecting it, the go live somewhere else. We don’t need garbage like you here, especially representing the USA on an Olympic level. You are one of the WORST examples of an athlete just for your attitude, morals, and ethics alone.

  11. Michael G Warren

    Her comment about words of the National Anthem are completely false. She is a lying
    black person who deserves no respect. Send her back to Africa.

  12. Michael G Warren

    She is a lying black person. She doesn’t deserve to live in the USA.

  13. Steven Kaspar

    Just another anti America scumbag she doesn’t love her country move the hell out and don’t let the door hit you in the ASS!

  14. donna

    She does not need to compete for the USA,She needs to take her disrespecting ass to another country.And i am not even sure that she is a she ,She looks like a man.

  15. Rae Frederick

    She is living proof that “stupid is as stupid does”.
    She needs a history lesson or 2.

  16. Bill Turney

    Gwen Berry, you do not speak for most African-Americans. Most do not view it as disrespectful.

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