The U.S. hammer-thrower who turned away from the American flag during the national anthem at an Olympic trial wrote about drunk “white people” being “sooo retarded” and made light of rape in her early 20s.
“White people are sooo retarded when they are drunk,” she said in 2011, when she was 22.
“This lil white boy being bad as hell!! I would smack his ass then stomp him!! Smh #whitepplKids hella disrespectful,” she wrote in a tweet as a 21-year-old.
“I’m about to rape my lunch,” Berry, 23 at the time, said.
Berry’s behavior during “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the June 26 Olympic qualifier garnered attention nationwide.
During the anthem, first-place finisher DeAnna Price and second-place finisher Brooke Anderson stood with their hands over their hearts while facing the flag. Berry, however, shifted to face the crowd, held her ceremonial flowers by her side, and covered her head with a T-shirt that read, “Activist Athlete.”
The playing of the anthem at that moment was a “set-up” done “on purpose,” Berry said, claiming she was told it would be played before or after they stood on the podium. She reiterated this point Monday, though USA Track & Field spokeswoman Susan Hazzard denied the allegation.
The “history” of the anthem is why Berry doesn’t support it, she said.
“If you know your history, you know the full song of the national anthem, the third paragraphs speaks to slaves in America, our blood being slain and piltered all over the floor,” she said. “It’s disrespectful, and it does not speak for black Americans. It’s obvious. There’s no question.”
Berry, who previously protested during the anthem, referenced the third verse in the extended version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave | From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”
While Republicans, including Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, called for Berry to be replaced on the Olympic team, the White House defended her right to protest during the anthem.
“[President Joe Biden] 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,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki during Monday’s briefing. “And it means respecting the right of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest.”
“I never said that I didn’t want to go to the Olympic games,” Berry said Monday. “That’s why I competed and got third and made the team. I never said I hated the country. Never said that. All I said was I respect my people enough to not stand or acknowledge something that disrespects them.”
She didn’t directly answer whether she planned on protesting during the anthem at the Olympics.
“We’ll see,” Berry said Thursday. “It just depends on how I’m feeling and what I want to do in that moment.”
The Washington Examiner reached out to Berry and a USA Track and Field spokesperson for comment.
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Original Author: Mike Brest