Contrary opinion: Because America is so great, flag-denier, Olympian hopeful Gwen Berry should compete as an American

Look, I understand, I really do, why proud Americans here at  American Thinker and elsewhere are hurt and angry that Olympic Games wannabe hammer-thrower Gwen Berry turned away from the American flag and our national anthem at a sporting event to qualify for the American team representing America at the Olympic Games.

However, paradoxically, I can sympathize somewhat with Berry's reasoning as I understand it.  While America is a wonderful country, it has had some deep flaws, slavery and its aftereffects among the most visible and long-lasting.  And while I am not privy to Berry's most personal life and background, she obviously feels a connection to it, as evidenced by her tweets.


YouTube screen grab.

Nevertheless, despite it all, she went forth and learned to throw a hammer — a sport I didn't even know existed.  Learned so well, practiced so long and hard she might qualify for the Olympics.  Admittedly, hammer-throwing isn't a glamour sport like, say, gymnastics or ice skating in the Winter Olympics.  But there it is, and there she is, so good for her.

And what better way to represent America in all its diversity, pluralism, and multiculturalism than by criticizing it without fear?  Can a Chinese Olympian or Nobel Prize–winner do that and continue to live freely in China?  Miss Iraq 2017, Sarah Idan, was forced to flee Iraq and lives in fear of her life because she posed with the enemy, Miss Israel, and spoke the truth about Iraq's and most Muslims' deadly hatred of Jews, Israel, and the U.S.  Meanwhile, Berry can criticize this country without fear of imprisonment or even death by government as in those other mentioned countries.

As a matter of fact, given the obscurity of her sport — OK, well, to me and probably many others — we are aware of Berry because of her public actions but not the competitors who bested her and then stood at attention during the American flag display and the strains of The Star-Spangled Banner.  Who do you think will get lucrative endorsements and other money-making deals?  Speaking engagements?  Gwen Berry or DeAnna Price and Brooke Andersen?  Who?  Those latter two?  Oh, they're also on the U.S. hammer-throwing team — even did better than Gwen Berry.  But because they didn't complain, you never heard of them.  And probably won't. 

And so Berry tweets:

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.

Ah, the wonders of free speech!  Ideological conformity is not necessary in America to qualify for the Olympics as an American; skill is.  Ideological nonconformity is not treason.  So I wish Berry and all the Americans trying out for the Olympics all the best, and may the best person go on to represent America in all its messy glory, which is a large part of our strength.  And then — all together now — hear it for 

"USA!  USA!  USA!"

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