Olympics: Gwen Berry Protests During Playing of National Anthem

hammer thrower Gwen Berry, a Black American, protested on the podium at the U.S. track and field Olympic Trials on Saturday.

Photo: Twitter

While there were no noticeable podium protests at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, hammer thrower Gwen Berry, a Black American, protested on the podium at the U.S. track and field Olympic Trials on Saturday.

She was receiving her bronze medal on the podium from the hammer throw event, which secured her position to represent the U.S. at the Tokyo Games. Then, the national anthem began to play.

“I feel like it was a set-up, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said according to the New York Times. She said the anthem was supposed to play before the athletes got on the podium. Throughout the meet, the anthem had been played just once per night (as it was at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials), and Berry had been staying out of the spotlight during those moments. But a delay in playing it on Saturday meant that it wound up being played as she received her medal.

Berry turned away from the flag while the national anthem played. Towards the end, she placed her black T-shirt, which read “Activist Athlete,” over her head.

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