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Olympic Hammer Thrower Calls Out ‘Obsessed’ Fox News After Anthem Activism

Gwen Berry is an Olympic hammer thrower for the U.S. team. She’s suddenly getting a lot of attention after she engaged in a peaceful, quiet protest by holding a shirt reading “activist athlete” over her head while the National Anthem played during Olympic trials.

[Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]

Of course, athletes (particularly Black athletes) protesting for equality has been a thorny topic in American politics over recent years, with Colin Kaepernick standing out as a central figure. When the protests reach the levels of fires and destruction, the far-right claims to be fully supportive of protest as long as it’s peaceful — but as Berry demonstrated, even a peaceful protest that doesn’t hurt anyone offends them, too.

Fox News published a version of the story that covered Berry’s explanation, that she felt the anthem was played when it wasn’t expected, and reacted somewhat spontaneously, holding a t-shirt reading “activist athlete” over her head only after giving consideration to what the respectful response was, but in their tweet of the piece, they sensationalized “an athlete’s reaction to the anthem” and told readers they’d be “dumbfounded” — baiting in those who already have a problem with Black activism.

Berry responded to the tweet aptly.

She has continued to respond to haters who have attacked her on social media and in news, saying that they misrepresent her when they say she hates America, and inviting anyone who has a strong opinion on how an Olympic athlete should represent her country to work hard enough to become one and do it their own way. Berry amplified those who point out the irony of critics who have, in her words, “done nothing elite in their lives,” suggesting that third place in Olympic trials somehow makes her voice less valuable. She also called out the wishy-washy sentiments of those who say they support Black lives, but get upset at her protest.

Finally, when Fox News published yet another segment, in which Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw is invited to express his (negative) views on her activism, Berry called them out on their obsession.

Next month, Gwen Berry will represent her nation in the Summer Olympic games, not because of her activism but because of her dedication and prowess — but that doesn’t mean she’s required to abandon her principles and deny what she stands for to do it.



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