'Activist Athlete' Gwen Berry turns away from US national flag during Olympic trials
USA's Gwen Berry has found herself in the middle of a controversy after she decided to turn away from the national flag when the American national anthem started playing.
A hammer-thrower from the United States of America (USA), Gwen Berry, has found herself in the middle of a controversy after she decided to turn away from the national flag when the American national anthem started playing while she was standing at the podium.
The incident occurred during the US Olympic Track and Field Trails, wherein Gwen Berry finished third in women's hammer throw. While both the other athletes who finished at the top two spots sang the US national anthem proudly with their hands on heart, Gwen decided otherwise.
The 31-year-old, instead, decided to turn away from the national flag to face the stands and held up a t-shirt that read, "Activist Athlete."
Gwen Berry defended her actions, terming that she wants to bring the attention of the world to the prevailing social inequalities in American societies. She also maintained that she would use the platform of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the same purpose.
Gwen also went on to accuse the organisers of setting her up by playing the national anthem while she was standing at the podium.
Usually, the national anthem is not played during the medal ceremonies at the trials. But it did, yesterday, while Gwen Berry was at the podium.
The organisers, in their defence, added that the national anthem is played once every day during the trials at a fixed time and that the allegations by Gwen Berry of them waiting to play the anthem until she gets on the podium are false.
While one might never know on whose side the truth lies, Gwen Berry has continued to face a lot of flak from various quarters for her actions.