U.S track star Gwen Berry, who recently snubbed the Stars and Stripes at the Olympic trials, has complained that critics "are obsessed" with her as the backlash against her continued Monday.
Berry is an Olympic athlete and a somewhat outspoken activist for racial justice who turned away from the American Flag during the national anthem on Saturday.
"At this point, y'all are obsessed with me," Berry wrote on Twitter after Dan Crenshaw called for her to be removed from the Olympic team because she turned away from the flag.
At this point, y'all are obsessed with me https://t.co/HBWCE28s7x
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
Berry, thirty-one, has not been shy about sharing her views on racial injustice in the past, but she now faces a heavy critique after turning her back on the flag during the national anthem at the Olympic track and field trials in Oregon after taking third place in the hammer toss and securing a spot on Team USA.
"I never said I hated this country!" she wrote in another tweet, "People try to put words in my mouth but they can't. That's why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE."
But she's still taking a lot of heat for turning her back on the flag on the award podium, with one lawmaker even calling for her to be taken off the team.
"We don't need any more activist athletes," U.S Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said on Fox & Friends, "She should be replaced from the team."
Another tweet by Bill Griffith read: "Stop competing for a country you hate, disrespect and embarrass. The Olympics are all about nationalism. That's why they play your anthem and display your flag. Feel oppressed by your country? Feel you lack support and opportunity? Then, compete for a nation you *do* love!"
Crenshaw's comments followed a wave of criticism against Berry over the weekend, including in a tweet by Ted Cruz late on Sunday.
"Why does the Left hate America? 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," Cruz wrote.
"God bless America."
Why does the Left hate America?
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. https://t.co/7hH1FMzEn0
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 28, 2021
Berry said of the flag snub that she was "p**sed" because she felt the organizers had set her up by playing the anthem while she was standing on the podium.
The controversy comes after the International Olympic Committee last year cautioned athletes against political displays at the Tokyo Games, which Berry clearly didn't get the memo for.
"We believe that the example we set by competing with the world's best while living in harmony in Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world," the IOC said in a statement in January 2020.
"This is why it is important, on both a personal and global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village, and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious, or ethnic demonstrations," the statement continued.
"It's time for Real Change. Athletes must continue to bring awareness to the systemic oppression Blacks have endured for centuries. We should never be silenced and punished for speaking out. Thank you @nytopinion for helping me create this powerful piece," Berry wrote as she retweeted New York Times Opinion piece.