By Joe Saunders
Anthem-protesting Olympian Gwen Berry might be a star throwing a hammer in track and field, but it took Dan Crenshaw to hit the nail on the head — so hard it hurts.
In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Monday, the Texas Republican with a well-earned reputation for straight-shooting talk took a question about Berry’s tantrum over the weekend when she turned her back on the American flag and eventually covered her head while “The Star-Spangled Banner” played at Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
And as usual, Crenshaw captured the feelings of millions of Americans with his no-nonsense response.
“We don’t need any more activist athletes,” Crenshaw said. “She should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. It’s the entire point.”
Check it out here. The Berry question comes about the 7:40 mark:
“It’s one thing when these NBA players do it. OK, we’ll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team? And there’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare, minimum requirement, is that you believe in the country [you’re] representing.”
Crenshaw had just finished talking about the dangers of critical race theory being given a prominent place in U.S. military instruction. Actions like the one Berry took on Saturday, he said, are just another example of its pernicious rot.
“This is the pathology that occurs when we’re teaching critical race theory into our institutions.
“Critical race theory, again, teaches that our institutions are racist. That our systems are deeply racist.
“You can’t see the racism, right? Because it’s subtle. And if you deny it, it’s because of your white fragility. But you’re teaching people this constantly.
“And this is what it results in. It results in these displays of hatred towards our own country. And it’s got to stop.”
Crenshaw, as most readers know, understands a good deal more about representing his country than almost any Olympian ever could. As a Navy SEAL, he gave an eye (and very nearly his life) in his nation’s service in Afghanistan in a 2012 IED blast.
But he has never backed away from the fight.
In response to the Crenshaw interview, Berry published a tweet that not only rivaled New York Democratic diva Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in vanity and self-absorption, but also showed how badly she understands actual Americans.
Neither Crenshaw, the “Fox & Friends” co-hosts, nor the millions who agree with the Texan are obsessed with Berry.
What they are is outraged and sickened by the seemingly endless parade of celebrities, professional athletes and other Olympians who either don’t understand or refuse to accept that the nation they spit on with such venom is what is responsible for their success.
The United States stands at the summit of the world in economic and military power not because its institutions are “systemically racist” because it’s built on the oppression of its citizens.
The U.S. is the country it is because countless millions of individuals live a life of freedom unknown to the vast majority of the world’s population.
Childish displays like Berry’s over the weekend, or the NFL and NBA players who protest the national anthem, are possible only because the U.S. has, throughout its history, had a commitment to the freedom of expression of its citizens.
Has the commitment always been perfectly fulfilled? Of course not. No human institution will ever be perfect. Does the country have a history of institutional racism? Of course it does. (Democrats can look in the mirror there. They might see Joe Biden looking back.)
But the point is that the iniquities of the past get further removed with every passing decade. It’s a country that was built on ideals, not on oppression.
Americans — whether natural-born or immigrants — understand that in their bones.
If that’s the country Ms. Berry is so ashamed of, she might not want to represent the rest of us in Tokyo next month. It’s not a question of whether she should be removed from the team so much as a question of why she would ever want to be on it in the first place — unless it was for fame and endorsement possibilities and celebrity connections.
That would make her preening superiority a grift of the lowest order, and one Crenshaw’s point could hurt badly.
“We don’t need any more activist athletes,” Crenshaw said.
And he hit the nail right on the head.
Author: Joe Saunders