Caitlyn Jenner has launched an attack on US hammer thrower Gwen Berry for turning away from the US flag as the national anthem played at the Olympic Trials on Saturday.
Jenner, a former Olympian herself, was being interviewed on Newsmax TV when she was asked about Berry’s protest. “Honestly,” said Jenner, “It’s disgusting.”
Berry finished third in the hammer throw trials and was stood on the podium when “The Star Spangled Banner” played. She turned away from the flag and raised a T-shirt over her head which read: “Activist athlete”.
Jenner, who is currently in the running to be California’s next governor, said she disagreed with the protest. “I don’t like political statements on the podium,” said Jenner.
“We shouldn’t do that. This is the greatest gathering of people and countries in the world. Over 200 countries will be at the Olympic Games – there are 150-something countries in the UN and it has such potential for good. Don’t destroy it.”
Jenner added that she doesn’t believe Berry will have the opportunity to repeat her protest at the Olympic Games in Tokyo when they take place this July and August.
“To be honest with you, we don’t have a worry in the world that she’ll be on the podium there, because she got third there,” said Jenner. “The other two girls ahead of her are so much better, and there’s other ones around the world in the hammer throw. So I think that was kind of her last hurrah.”
Prior to Jenner’s comments, Berry had already taken to Twitter to defend her decision, saying that “comments” from people criticising her actions “really show” that “people in American rally patriotism over basic morality”.
“Even after the murder of George Floyd and so many others; the commercials, statements, and phoney sentiments regarding black lives were just a hoax,” added Berry.