Jen Psaki stuck up for Gwen Berry, the Olympic hammer thrower that disrespected the American flag while she stood on the podium with a bronze medal, according to The New York Post.
“I haven’t spoken to the president specifically about this, but I know he’s 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 at her daily press briefing.
“He would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we are — as a country, haven’t lived up to our highest ideals. And it means respecting the rights of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest.”
berry said she was pissed when she heard the star-spangled banner.
“It was real disrespectful,” Berry stated.
“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” Berry stated.
“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.”
“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.”
”I didn’t really want to be up there … it was a setup.”
“I was hot, I was ready to take my pictures and get into some shade.”
From The New York Post:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday defended the “peaceful protest” of Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who on Saturday turned away from the US flag while the national anthem played and covered her head with her T-shirt that read, “Activist Athlete.”
Asked by a reporters what President Biden thought of the move by Berry, which critics have slammed as unpatriotic and unbecoming of a Team USA member that will represent the United States in Tokyo, Psaki seemed to say he would be understanding.
Berry went so far on Saturday as to say she was “pissed” to hear “The Star-Spangled Banner” after winning a bronze medal at the US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials.
Berry, 31, was a member of the 2016 US Olympics team and is expected to participate in the Tokyo Olympics that begin in late July.
Francis Scott Key authored the patriotic song during the War of 1812 while aboard a British ship during the 1814 attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. It became the national anthem in 1931.