U.S. Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry sparred with Rep. Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawThis issue will secure a Democratic wipeout in 2022 House Ethics panel dismisses security screening fine issued to GOP lawmaker Juan Williams: The GOP is an anti-America party MORE (R-Texas) after he criticized her for turning away from the American flag during the national anthem at the U.S. track and field trials.
Berry tweeted “At this point, y’all are obsessed with me,” in response to Crenshaw, responding to a video from the lawmaker's appearance on Fox News.
At this point, y’all are obsessed with me https://t.co/HBWCE28s7x— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
Berry turned away from the American flag and toward the stands when the national anthem began playing on Saturday, and placed a T-shirt with the words “Activist Athlete” over her head.
She said it felt like “it was a setup, and they did it on purpose” because she was previously told the anthem would be played before the athletes walked out, according to ESPN.
A USA Track and Field spokeswoman, however, said the timing was already scheduled for 5:20 p.m. local time in Eugene, Ore.
Berry previously said she would use her position at the Tokyo Olympics to keep awareness focused on social injustice in the U.S.
The move sparked criticism among Republicans, including Crenshaw, who called for Berry to be removed from the U.S. Olympic team and said “We don’t need any more activist athletes.”
“We don't need any more activist athletes. She should be removed from the team,” Crenshaw said during an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
Dan Crenshaw calls for Gwen Berry to be removed from the Olympic team because she turned away from the flag pic.twitter.com/c2xWKLXPPJ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 28, 2021
He then likened Berry’s action at the field trials to NBA players demonstrating during the national anthem before games.
“The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That's the entire point. OK so, you know, 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,” Crenshaw said.
“They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement is that you believe in the country representing,” he added.
Berry shot back at Crenshaw and the other backlash she received, writing on Twitter “At this point, y’all are obsessed with me.”
She also directly took on Crenshaw, retweeting a tweet that said “Dan can kiss my ass.”
Dan can kiss my ass. And if “folks” gonna be mad at Black American athletes… uh, when y’all gonna cheer for the USA!? Because we are EVERYWHERE in these Olympics @MzBerryThrows is THAT deal & y’all should put some respect on her name. Period. https://t.co/DLUcr8oXqi— Miss Mox (@hotblackbitter) June 28, 2021
Berry first raised a fist when she was on the podium during the Pan-American Games in Peru, according to The Washington Post. She was placed on probation by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, but the group later apologized to Berry.
In March, the committee said it would allow some forms of demonstrations during the qualifying trials, including kneeling during the anthem and raising fists.
Athletes will also be allowed to "peacefully and respectfully" engage in demonstrations in support of racial or social causes at the games.