This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on July 6, 2021
I can’t really say I am outraged, I guess the word I would use is confused. There is plenty going on in the world today that I don’t understand, but this past week a situation has taken the cake on really making me wonder what it is I am witnessing.
The person who has confused me is named Gwen Berry. You may not recognize her name, but you absolutely have heard of what she did. She is the woman trying out for the Olympic team in the hammer throw who put on a disgusting and disrespectful showing on the podium as the national anthem played. She turned her back on the flag and posed for the camera with a disgusted look. She then covered her face with a shirt that read
“activist athlete.” She then went on a tirade about how she was set up by having the anthem played as she was on the podium. You know, she may be right. Do you have any idea how much planning went into timing the anthem to be played at the exact moment the winners were on the podium? Clearly, the whole world revolves around you, Gwen. You should be very proud.
There are a couple of parts of this event that leave me with questions. First, why in the name of common sense is someone who hates the USA trying out for the Olympic team? I am a vegetarian. I have not eaten meat in 14 years. You can be darn sure that I am not going one step out of my way to advocate for chicken nuggets or pepperoni pizza. I don’t like meat, and I am not going to do anything to promote it or represent it. If Gwen has strong negative feelings about the United States, then why does she want to be on the Olympic team? She is a vegetarian competing to be crowned the Queen of Beef. I’m sorry, I meant the Queen of Bull.
Second, what exactly was it she was protesting? I know we hear these activists all the time pushing agendas and trying to make statements about this and that. I am writing this article days after Gwen’s peaceful protest took place, and I haven’t heard a word about what it was exactly she was unhappy with. Was it the fact that she has the freedom to make whatever statement she wants, or that she is supported to chase her dream to be a big-time hammer thrower? I am unclear exactly what it is she is unhappy about.
Then there is my third question. If you are anything like me, before a few days ago, I have spent exactly zero seconds of my life thinking about the hammer throw. Now, it is in the front of the national attention because of the immature tantrum that she threw while on the podium. Did you know that the top three places get to stand on the podium? And (spoiler alert), Gwen was in third place. Two women threw hammers further than she did. The CNN article I read about this in did not mention the women in the first two places. Their names were Brooke Anderson in second place and DeAnna Price in first. Price set a new American record with her throw of 263 feet 6 inches. Anderson and Price did not even see Gwen’s tantrum because their backs were turned to her as they were singing the lyrics of the anthem with their hands over their hearts facing the flag. They had no idea what was going on behind them. Price even appeared to have a tear in her eye after accomplishing the record throw.
We are much more concerned with the sideshow than the actual accomplishment. Congratulations to Brooke Anderson and DeAnna Price, you made us all proud. Given that Gwen was in third place, it is highly unlikely that she will earn an Olympic medal. Honestly, Anderson and Price deserve it more, there is no question. And yet there is a part of me that wants to see Gwen win. You see, the organization that oversees the United States Olympic qualifier events has said that they will allow any and all protests with no consequences. The international Olympic committee however has made it very clear protests will be met with severe consequences.
That could be interesting. Too bad the international committee is more interested in defending our flag than we are.