Regardless of securing a place in the USA Olympic Team, athlete Gwen Berry turned her back on the American flag following her performance at the Olympic Trials last week and Piers Morgan is outraged by her "disrespectful" attitude towards her own country.
Morgan is well known for his outspoken attitude towards anything and everything, and Berry's "temper tantrum" on Saturday has been the latest thing to rile him up.
According to AP News, the thirty-one-year-old told reporters on Saturday, June 26th, after coming third in her hammer-throwing event, that she felt the playing of the anthem was a "set up", adding that she was told the anthem would be played before going out onto the field.
"I'm here to represent those ... who died due to systemic racism," she said. "That's the important part. That's why I'm going. That's why I'm here today."
We applaud Ms. Berry on her bravery to stand up against systemic racism.
Cited from https://t.co/p7Uo2l8iLR pic.twitter.com/WO45g7iZSJ
— Know Your Rights Camp (@yourrightscamp) June 28, 2021
Berry could be seen turning away from the flag while the anthem echoed around the stadium. She even lifted her shirt showing the phrase "activist athlete" underneath. The other 2 women on the podium turned towards the flag for the performance.
"They had enough opportunities to play the national anthem before we got up there," Berry said, "I was thinking about what I should do. Eventually, I stayed there, and I swayed, I put my shirt over my head. It was real disrespectful."
Berry says the anthem does not "speak" for her and has protested in the past during the anthem's performance. Black athletes in several different athletic backgrounds have protested at events over the years to spread light on systemic racism still prevalent here in America.
"They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there. But I don't really want to talk about the anthem because that's not important. The anthem doesn't speak for me. It never has," said Berry after the competition on Saturday.
"My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I'm here to represent those… who died due to systemic racism. That's the important part. That's why I'm going. That's why I'm here today," she added.
And the outspoken ex-host of Good Mornin Britain had some thoughts of his own on Berry's antics.
If Gwen Berry can't hear the national anthem without throwing a tantrum, she should let someone else go to the Olympics who feels pride, not shame in their country - and who won't embarrass America in front of the whole world. https://t.co/yd5ELOIMBl pic.twitter.com/4dvPcwNPjx
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 28, 2021
On Monday he tweeted: "If Gwen Berry can't hear the national anthem without throwing a tantrum, she should let someone else go to the Olympics who feels pride, not shame in their country - and who won't embarrass America in front of the whole world."
"I've seen some outrageous antics from athletes in my time, but Ms. Berry's narcissistic tour de force at the U.S Olympics trials in Oregon on Saturday takes the proverbial biscuit," Morgan wrote for the Daily Mail. He added: "I know what it would tell me, as a Brit who loves America: that, regardless of what she says to the contrary, she hates the United States."
It's clear he doesn't support Gwen Berry's activism, but the message behind her stunt on Saturday needs to be addressed here in the U.S.