Olympian Gwen Berry Says National Anthem is ‘Disrespectful’ to Black Americans but Insists She Does Not Hate America

Gwendolyn Berry, left, looks away as DeAnna Price and Brooke Andersen stand for the national anthem after the finals of the women’s hammer throw at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Saturday, June 26, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. Price won, Andersen was second and Berry finished third. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Olympic athlete Gwen Berry, who on Saturday turned away from the US flag during the national anthem, doubled down on her controversial protest Monday — insisting the anthem is “disrespectful” to black Americans.

“If you know your history, you know the full song of the national anthem. The third paragraph speaks to slaves in America — our blood being slain … all over the floor,” Berry, 31, said on Black News Channel, a CNN affiliate.

“It’s disrespectful, and it does not speak for black Americans.”

“It’s obvious,” she added. “There’s no question.”

The third stanza of the anthem contains the lyrics, “their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution,” and, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”

The two-time Olympic qualifying hammer thrower also reiterated earlier comments she made on Twitter in response to the backlash, insisting she does not hate her country.

“I never said that I didn’t want to go to the Olympic games. I never said that I hated the country. I never said that,” Berry told the outlet.

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SOURCE: New York Post, Sam Raskin

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