The Biden administration’s support for U.S. Olympian Gwen Berry’s tasteless flag protest has garnered a bounty of furor this week, and Fox News host Sean Hannity wasn’t about to miss the chance to jump in.
On a Monday night segment of his hit primetime show, the conservative commentator took a jab at Berry for turning her back toward the flag and raising an “activist athlete” T-shirt before the crowd after claiming a bronze medal at the U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon on Saturday.
“If you’re not proud of the country, if you don’t want to represent the country, why are you trying to play in the Olympics for the country?” Hannity asked.
“Our patriotism, our national pride, the anthem — I would think that would be unifying, but so often today, sadly, it’s become the opposite.”
Hannity didn’t stop his criticism with Berry, but instead extended it to include President Joe Biden — whose defense of such “peaceful protests” was reiterated by White House press secretary Jen Psaki during a news briefing on Monday.
During the briefing, Psaki said that, while she hadn’t discussed the protest with Biden directly, she could speak for him in saying that he is “incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents.”
“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 right of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest,” she added.
Hannity didn’t take the Biden administration’s lenient message so lightly.
“Of course, President Sippy Cup is offering his support,” he said, not-so-subtly implying that Biden’s stances are infantile.
Before turning the discussion over to civil rights attorney Leo Terrell and “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth, Hannity touched on American professional sports leagues’ separate ventures into “wokeness,” particularly those following the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
“I don’t support boycotts,” he said. “Between Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL, you know what — now the Olympics — my interest level is next to zero when they add politics.”
“You take one of the most uniting forces — athletics, where people in the stadium are high-fiving strangers and talking to strangers of all backgrounds, all races, everything — and you destroy it as soon as you add that political equation. And I just think that’s why ratings are down in all these sports.”
There’s still much to be said about the Biden administration’s passive take on Berry representing, but not supporting, the United States.
Of course, in a tweet, Berry claimed critics unjustly put words into her mouth in saying she hates America.
Thank you! I never said I hated this country! People try to put words in my mouth but they can’t. That’s why I speak out. I LOVE MY PEOPLE. ✊🏾 https://t.co/fbKB5d9H2I
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
Instead, she would rather maintain that she doesn’t hate America while sending a negative message about America to the rest of the world — even going so far as retweeting one user’s implication that the national anthem doesn’t “include” black Americans.
— Creshia (@CreeLuv314) June 29, 2021
“Woke” sports protests have done little to champion their cause. Instead, they insist on facilitating anger and division — both of which we see today.
In an ideal country, we would have a leader who honors and respects the unity that Old Glory symbolizes.
Yes, we claim many titles, titles associated with different backgrounds — income brackets, races, religions, creeds, customs or cultures — but “American” is the one title we share and should embrace.
Bringing about cultural change doesn’t start with displays that disrespect or divide, but instead starts with recognizing that America is all about change and betterment while championing both values in productive ways.
We should be thankful for that malleability.
Hannity was right to pinpoint the flaws in both Berry’s and Biden’s blatant, un-American stances.
If our president doesn’t realize that the world stage isn’t a place to bring selective group activism that demonizes the entire country, who will?
Hannity was also right to highlight that the most unifying aspect of our country has become a source of conflict.
Of course, the Biden administration isn’t about to publicly criticize BLM protests at athletic events: The move would double-cross an essential subgroup of the Democratic Party, one which plays into a “divide and conquer” agenda.
“My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism,” Berry said after Saturday’s event, according to Democracy Now. “That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.”
The quote leads us to ask — why represent a nation that allegedly perpetuates that system?
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