Hammer Time! Unknown Athlete, In Obscure Sport, Steals Headlines With Her Disrespect To National Anthem.

EUGENE, OREGON - JUNE 26: Gwendolyn Berry (L), third place, turns away from U.S. flag during the U.S. National Anthem as DeAnna Price (C), first place, and Brooke Andersen, second place, also stand on the podium after the Women's Hammer Throw final on day nine of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 26, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. In 2019, the USOPC reprimanded Berry after her demonstration on the podium at the Lima Pan-American Games. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

America’s national anthem again found the spotlight, this time at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials when Gwen Berry, a U.S. hammer thrower turned from the American flag as the anthem played.

Berry’s actions gained strong support and strong opposition.

Color of Change, a group known for its stance on defunding the police, has sponsored Berry since last September and is funding her through the end of the year.

The group wrote Tuesday via Twitter: “We’re proud to sponsor (Berry), to have negotiated a sponsorship with @PUMA and to continue to push corporations to support Black athletes who speak out for our communities. Grateful for Gwen’s leadership today and every day.,” to which Berry responded: “Thank you Color of Change for always standing with me.”  

It’s not clear whether Berry shares Color of Change’s views on defunding the police. 

Berry retweeted a fan who wrote, “I STAND with @MzBerryThrows all the way. The national anthem doesn’t include us. Being a Black girl from (St. Louis) as well, I salute you sis! Clapping hands sign Thank you for taking your stand.”

Meghan McCain addressed the moment on The View on Tuesday.

“Excuse me if I don’t think these athletes are representing America in the same way, and for some of us, I will die for this,” McCain said on air. “I will die on this hill. It is not appropriate or patriotic to go to a foreign country where you’re supposed to be representing America and act like it’s just about you. It’s not about you. It’s about all of us.” 

Color of Change President Rashad Johnson talked about the organization’s defund stance recently as the Minneapolis City Council said it would “dismantle” its police force: “Policing is a violent institution that must end,” Johnson said. “We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision.” 

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