May 23, 2024

Berry & McLaughlin: Two Olympians – One Hates the Flag, One loves God

Written By Kevin Fobbs and Susan Swift | Jul 3, 2021 | Courtesy of CommDigiNewsOlympics, Olympian, Berry, McLaughlin

Sydney McLaughlin celebrating her first Diamond League Trophy win at the 2019 IAAF Diamond League finals on Aug. 29, 2019 in Zurich, Switzerland. = Credit IAFF Diamond League

WASHINGTON: When America sends its Olympic Team to Japan, it will be a tale of two black female American Olympians. Gwen Berry, who may want to be the next Colin Kaepernick by turning her back on the American flag, is the polar opposite of Sydney McLaughlin. McLaughlin is an American hurdler who just smashed the world record in the women’s 400m hurdles, and according to the Christian Post“says God told her ‘just focus on me.’” 

Who will you want to watch compete in the Olympics for America: the Hammer Thrower or the Hurdler?

Berry’s Racially Woke Olympian Moment has a history

Berry is the latest “woke” sports figure to disrespect her country and its flag. After placing third in the hammer throwing qualifications, the former Olympian turned away from the flag while on the podium at the Olympic trials, putting a T-shirt with the words “activist athlete” over her head while the national anthem was playing.  ESPN quoted Berry as saying: “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”

When Did Berry’s Racially Woke Moment Kick In?

Berry’s evolution regarding the flag and the national anthem has occurred quickly. According to Fox News, just six years ago, Berry had a very jubilant expression on her face in the photo from her 2015 posting on her website which

“…showed Berry joyously holding the American flag as she kept her dream to represent the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics alive. The photo appeared on Berry’s old personal website touting her accomplishments until it was taken down recently.”

So Berry had her “come to Jesus” racially woke moment sometime between her June 12, 2015 blog post after placing first at the 2014 Pan American Sports Festival in Mexico City in the hammer throw event, and 2019.

It was in 2019  she raised her fist while on the podium at the Pan American Games in Peru to protest social injustice in America.

What Happened to Berry’s Olympian Support of the Flag?

Apparently, in 2015 Berry attempted to emulate sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos who dramatically raised their fists on the podium in protest at the 1968 Olympics games.  According to ESPN, Berry explained her 2019 raised fist protest against a barrage of issues

“…larger than any single president: housing discrimination, the trend of white police officers killing unarmed black people, daily racial micro-aggressions, public schools that don’t teach enough black history.”

As a result of Berry’s 2019 protest, she lost some of her sponsorships and also received 12-month probation from the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for her action.

Then it was a panoply of vague racial grievances

Today Berry has focused her activism against the American flag and the national anthem, assisted by the ever woke social media  On Twitter, Berry discussed how comments on social media show that

“Even after the murder of George Floyd and so many others; the commercials, statements, and phony sentiments regarding black lives were just a hoax.”

Now the Hammer Thrower is back-peddling like an Olympic cyclist to mitigate the avalanche of negative public opinion after disrespecting the anthem and the flag.  Prominent critics include both Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Dan Crenshaw.  Crenshaw is calling for the 32-year-old to be removed from the Olympic team.

After disrespecting our flag and the Star-Spangled Banner, Berry has since claimed

“I never said that I hated the country,” according to Fox News.  Some opponents of Berry’s protest have openly suggested, “No, Ms. Berry, you didn’t have to say it. Your actions demonstrated it.”

Sydney McLaughlin: God’s young American Christian Olympian?

Now contrast Ms. Berry with Sydney McLaughlin, an American hurdler who just smashed the world record in the women’s 400m hurdles at the U.S. Olympic trial.

Like Berry, 21-year-old McLaughlin is an African American woman who has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, but that’s where the similarities end.

McLaughlin credited God for becoming the first woman to break the 52 second time in the 400m hurdles:

“It was the best race plan I could have ever assembled. I no longer run for self-recognition, but to reflect His perfect will that is already set in stone. I don’t deserve anything. But by grace, through faith, Jesus has given me everything. Records come and go. The glory of God is eternal. Thank you, Father,” she stressed according to Christian Post.

She also embodies the true spirit of American patriotism which is found on the nation’s Great Seal “e pluribus Unum” out of many one. Her distinctive example of this can be found in her posting on her Instagram page:

“Congrats to everyone who made the team, as well as my awesome competitors!! Let’s go represent the USA ???????? the best way we know how!”

This young Olympian turns to God for her guidance and is very outspoken about her Christian faith on social media. In fact, in an Instagram post from February, McLaughlin boldly testified that she chose to place her future in God’s hands.

As Americans and the world wait and watch both women compete for Olympic gold, let’s consider the difference on display should both stand on the winner’s podium. What are the differences between the two?  Even though both African American female athletes have sacrificed to reach their goals, Berry, the One hammer thrower, may spurns her country’s flag while; McLaughin, the young hurdler will openly respect both her country and its flag.  One may see sports achievement as a means to political ends; the other may see sports as a means to honor the Creator.  One may be enamored with the secular while the other is in distinct awe of God.  Same means with radically different ends.  Their choice makes all the difference. 

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51.90!! Sydney McLaughlin vs. Dalilah Muhammad epic results in ANOTHER world record | NBC Sports

Sydney McLaughlin defeats Dalilah Muhammad in the 400m hurdles at the U.S. Trials, taking down the reigning world and Olympic champ’s world record in an astounding 51.90 seconds


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About the authors:

Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975. He has been published in the “New York Times,” and has written for the “Detroit News,” “Michigan Chronicle,” “GOPUSA,” “Soul Source” and “Writers Digest” magazines. In addition to the Ann Arbor and Cleveland “Examiner,” “Free Patriot,” “Conservatives4 Palin” and “Positively Republican.” The former daily host of The Kevin Fobbs Show on conservative News Talk WDTK – 1400 AM in Detroit, he is also a published author. His Christian children’s book, “Is There a Lion in My Kitchen,” hit bookstores in 2014.

California PolitiChick Susan Swift Arnall is a lawyer, wife, and conservative mother of seven children. Since her impassioned call into Rush Limbaugh’s radio program in 2009, Susan has given political commentary on radio and blogs and was invited in 2010 by Andrew Breitbart to write for his young website Big Journalism. She has written over 60 published articles for Breitbart.

Tags: American Olympiansblack female American OlympiansGwen BerryOlympics gamesSydney McLaughlin

Kevin Fobbs and Susan Swift