The Tokyo Olympics are less than a month away and, even before the games begin, controversy has already stricken multiple times.
We knew protests were coming, especially since Black Live’s Matter charades took American professional sports leagues by storm following the May 2020 death of George Floyd, but because of athletes like hammer thrower Gwen Berry, they’re now bleeding into the U.S. Olympic trials.
According to the Daily Mail, Berry protested on the medal dais after placing third during U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon, turning her back to Old Glory during the “Star Spangled Banner,” placing her hands on her hips and revealing a shirt which read “activist athlete” before using it to cover her face.
It’s a blatant slap in the face to the country — and the people — Berry would represent in the postponed 2020 games, but don’t expect any members of the Biden administration to admonish her anytime soon.
When Fox News’ Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Jen Psaki about President Joe Biden’s take on the issue, her response was one we’ve learned to expect.
“[President Biden is] incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world,” Psaki said, according to The Washington Examiner.
“He would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country is recognizing there are moments where we, as a country, haven’t lived up to our highest ideals,” she added, “And it means respecting the right of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest.”
At the time, Psaki said she had yet to discuss the issue with Biden, but spoke on the basis of his previous support for similar protests.
Berry faced a previous suspension from The U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Committee for her demonstrations during the national anthem at the 2019 Pan-American Games in Peru, according to the report.
The agencies later apologized for their decision, however.
Despite any past upset, demonstrations like Berry’s are now not only accepted by the committee, but also by the Biden administration and many of its most adamant supporters.
Many would liken this flag/anthem protest to those that spawned across American sports arenas last year, but Kaepernick-style protests in U.S. athletic leagues resonate differently than the spectacle Berry could make before the world.
If — as leftist doctrine preaches — America is systemically unjust, oppressive and bigoted toward selective groups for which this “activist athlete” champions, why would she represent a place that allegedly oppresses these groups on a systemic level?
Would anyone else be defined by the markings of an entity or, better yet, represent its members before the entire world if they claim that entity is unjust?
Activist athletes want, to quote the famous idiom, to have their cake and eat it too; to bask in all the glory that comes with being a U.S. Olympian while demeaning the U.S. itself.
It’s as hypocritical as it is disrespecting.
But, what’s worse? Not even our lead administration can step in and set the record straight, tell America’s Olympic athletes that they represent not only themselves, but also everyone who resides in any place where Old Glory proudly waves.
Of course, the Biden administration isn’t about to step on the toes of their “woke” supporters; That much would prove detrimental to their own party’s cause in 2022 and beyond.
Instead, their silence affects America’s image abroad and sets the stage for what constitutes “acceptable” behavior for athletes going forward.
Poorly representing the country — at all levels and in all domains — is acceptable to them.
Even if peaceful protesting is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment, Olympians should think twice before bringing their activism before the world, especially considering the consequences laid out by Olympic officials in the past.
Although The International Olympic Committee already prohibited athletes from making demonstrative gestures or wearing attire affiliated with activist groups (i.e. Black Lives Matter), we’re still sure to see an equal amount of chaos and competition once the games begin.
People always have something to say — or turn their back on — rules or none.