Gwen Berry and Free Speech
Gwen Berry is an Olympic Hammer Thrower from America who apparently was tricked when the National Anthem was played when she was on the podium this past weekend.
Really? Tricked? When the national anthem is played at every single podium ceremony I have ever watched?
Feeling lazy, I'm just going to give you the links.
2020 - New York Times - I Used the Podium to Protest. The Olympic Committee Punished Me.
That was an op-ed written by Gwen Berry.
2021 - The Blaze - Olympic athlete 'pissed' national anthem was played while receiving award, claims 'it was setup.' That article was written by one of the Blaze staff writers on Saturday.
The USOC said no Protests at Olympics.
Gwen Berry said yes to Protests, wherever she wants.
It seems like we're at an impasse, right? I must have read hundreds of comments on social media and they were split about 50/50 between shut up and dribble (or in this case, throw hammer) and Gwen Berry has Free Speech.
Surprisingly, deep, deep in the comments section, someone said "you can still throw hammer, but not represent your country."
And somehow, the lone voice was right. (No, it wasn't me.) The Olympics come along every 4 years. If you don't want to represent your country, you don't have to go. You can just go to the U.S. Track and Field Championships, they are held every year. You can just go to the World Athletic Championships, they are held biennially. Ms. Berry is the Pan-American Games defending Champion in the Hammer Throw. She is a three-time medalist at the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships. There are all sorts of Track and Field Events.
Of course the Olympics are the most prestigious event of them all, I'm not arguing that. But one of the main reasons to go is the money. A gold medal means all kinds of endorsement dollars for any athlete, let alone one in the Hammer Throw.
But if being an Activist Athlete is your number one priority, there is no Track and Field event that focuses on what country you're from more than the Olympics. If you don't want to represent your country, you can skip the Olympics, but you'll potentially cost yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now being an Activist Athlete has a price tag. What Ms. Berry wants is to protest her Racist Country, but she'd also like to use her Racist Country to get paid.
She wants to protest America on the biggest stage in the world, but doesn't want to adhere to the rules of the IOC. (Which have a long-standing rule on "demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.")
If Ms. Berry had a core philosophy on social justice, her response would be "I cannot go to the Olympics where I would be denied my free speech to protest America."
Ahhhhh, but I bet she doesn't do that. Let's see what happens.....