Republican lawmakers and conservative media figures are calling on Team USA to cut hammer thrower Gwen Berry after she protested the national anthem over the weekend.
Berry qualified to represent the United States at the Olympics on Saturday, placing third in the hammer throw at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.
While on stage receiving her medal, Berry turned away from the flag on the medal podium and held a t-shirt over her face.
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Her stunt caused an uproar on social media with many questioning why Berry would want to represent a country she scorns.
Others suggested that Berry be thrown off Team USA.
Ricochet editor Bethany Mandel tweeted: “I’d love to see someone from an actually oppressive country try this shit. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if they threw her off Team USA, but they’re gutless and will give her a participation trophy just to assuage their own baggage.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggested that Berry’s protest represented broad anti-America sentiment on the left.
“Why does the Left hate America?” Cruz asked. “Sure, we have our faults, but no nation in the history of the world has liberated more people from captivity, has lifted more out of poverty, has bled more for freedom, or has blessed more w/ abundance. God bless America.”
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh tweeted: “In a healthy and self-respecting country, she would be kicked off the team and shamed as the spoiled rotten child that she is. Instead she’ll be lionized as a hero.”
“Then don’t compete on behalf of the U.S. in competition. Fairly simple,” conservative radio host Dana Loesch said.
Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw and GOP Sen. Tom Cotton also called on Team USA to cut Berry.
“I don’t think it’s too much when athletes are competing to wear the Stars and Stripes — to compete under the Stars and Stripes in the Olympics — for them to simply honor that flag and our anthem on the medal stand,” Cotton said on Fox News on Monday.
“If Ms. Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there’s no reason she needs to compete for our country. She should be removed from the Olympic team,” he added.
Crenshaw made similar comments in an interview on Fox News
“We don’t need any more ‘activist athletes.’ She should be removed from the team. You know, the entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point, okay?” Crenshaw said Monday.
“It’s one thing when these NBA players do it. OK, fine, we’ll just stop watching. But now, the Olympic team – and it’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement, is that you believe in the country you’re representing,” he added.
Both lawmakers served in the U.S. military.
Cotton served as a Ranger-qualified member of the Army and Crenshaw as a Navy SEAL.