Patriotism is one of the most important parts of the American exceptionalism that has guided our nation to greatness over the last quarter millennium. We should, as patriots ourselves, embrace and support those in the public eye who express their patriotism because doing so is an increasingly rare occurrence. The Neo-Marxists have turned patriotism into a perceived negative to the point that carrying a U.S. flag is considered by the left to be racist. It’s ludicrous.
When Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry infamously turned away from the flag during the playing of the National Anthem at an Olympic trial in which she finished third, she demonstrated that she’s an attention-grabbing, narcissistic Communist who does not deserve the honor of representing us from a patriotic perspective. But here’s the thing. Deserving from a patriotic perspective is not a criteria for the Olympics, and while it may disgust me to have to defend her, she should not be removed from the team over the stunt.
According to Kyle Becker from Becker News, some Republican lawmakers are calling for her removal from the team:
Gwen Berry crossed the line by turning her back at the podium at the Olympic trials in Oregon on Saturday, according to a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers. The hammer-thrower turned away in disgust during the scheduled playing of the anthem, and then claimed the organizers were out to get her.
“It was real disrespectful,” she said. “I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,” Berry added. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
The major issue with Berry’s complaint, beyond it being patently ridiculous for an aspiring Team USA athlete to object to the playing of the National Anthem, is that records show the playing of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ was scheduled for 5:20 p.m.
Berry is now experiencing heavy blowback for the stunt, which she claims is consistent with her desire to highlight ‘structural racism’ as ubiquitous in American society. Senator Tom Cotton now wants to see Berry removed from Team USA.
“I don’t think it’s too much, when athletes are competing to wear the Stars and Stripes — to compete under the Stars and Stripes in the Olympics — for them to simply honor that flag and our anthem on the medal stand,” Cotton said on Fox News. “If Ms. Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there’s no reason she needs to compete for our country. She should be removed from the Olympic team.”
A House Republican, former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw, would also like to see Olympic athletes removed for disrespecting their host country and embarrassing it on the national stage.
“We don’t need any more ‘activist athletes.’ She should be removed from the team. You know, the entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point, okay?” Rep. Dan Crenshaw said. “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. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement, is that you believe in the country you’re representing.”
Look, I get it. I do not want her representing us. I hope this stunt completely backfires on her and acts as an example to other America-hating athletes to take their wokeness elsewhere. But removing her from the team through “conservative cancel culture” actions, particularly by government, is worse than a slippery slope against the 1st Amendment. It’s a declaration that obeisance to the state supersedes a citizen’s right to peacefully protest the government.
Imagine in a dystopian near-future in which the LGBTQ flag is flown and we’re supposed to salute it at an event. If you think such things are far-fetched, you’re not paying attention. In that scenario, I would not salute it and I imagine I would not be alone. Now, imagine if not saluting it was grounds for removal from whatever it is that we’re doing at the time. We would object, of course. We would claim all sorts of rights to free speech and to peacefully protest. We would denounce cancel culture.
The Gwen Berry situation, as disgusting and anti-American as it is, falls into the same basic category. We want to lash out and punish her for not being sufficiently patriotic, but doing so from an official capacity is wrong. Forcibly removing her from the Olympic team over her stunt does nothing to advance liberty while tarnishing our Constitution along the way.
In case anyone is missing the narrative here, she WANTS to be forcibly removed, to be made into an ideological martyr. She finished third in trials. Do we really think she has a strong chance of reaching the podium at the Olympics against the world’s best? No. She has already made her name known and now the best-case-scenario in her world is to be forcibly removed. At that point, she’ll cash in on leftist sympathy and Critical Race Theory infamy. And all the while she won’t even have to embarrass herself by being handily beaten at the Olympics.
IF there was anything in the agreement she signed when she applied to be on the American Olympic team that says she must not turn away from the U.S. flag during the playing of the National Anthem, then there’s a case that can be made she breeched her contract and can be removed. Otherwise, demanding her removal because she was anti-patriotic or because she’s too embarrassed by the nation to represent it in the Olympics is authoritarian. Demanding she must submit to government appreciation is something they do in China or North Korea.
I will cheer against her. I will pray that she doesn’t get the opportunity to perform another embarrassing anti-America stunt on any stage again in the future. But I will not call for her to be forcefully removed through mandate nor cancel culture because such calls are as anti-American as her stunt itself. If anything, her meaningless display of hatred for her nation is less damaging to the Constitution than any actions taken against her.
There is nothing patriotic nor conservative about calls to remove Gwen Berry from the team. This is America, and while she’s a disgrace for the flag stunt she pulled, her right to do so is protected.
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