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Some college students at the University of South Florida are refusing to support the United States at this year's Olympic Games, citing a lack of pride in their home country.
Speaking with Campus Reform ahead of the opening ceremonies last week, several students indicated they would not be rooting for Team USA during the Games but instead would be rooting for individual athletes.
"I'm not going to be rooting for any team just because it's some country that I live in ... because the truth is, patriotism shouldn't be that strong," one student said.
"I don't root for countries. I root for athletes," another added.
When one student was asked if she thought it was "embarrassing" that some of America's athletes aren't proud to represent the country at the Olympics, she responded, "I don't think so because I don't like being an American, either, even though I was born here."
"I think there is such corruption and a crumbling infrastructure," she continued. "Like, why is there no free health care? Why are so many people suffering because of housing? ... that is such a great example of how f***ing corrupt it is here."
Students refuse to cheer on Team USAyoutu.be
"I'm not proud to live in a country where I can't even go down in my own neighborhood [without seeing] people putting up their Blue Lives Matter flags telling me that my life doesn't matter," another student said.
Several students interviewed also sided with American hammer thrower Gwen Berry — who turned her back to the flag while the national anthem played at last month's track and field Olympic Trials — saying Berry was "100%" justified in her protest.
"Given what's been going on with this country and how divided our politics have been, there's not really a reason to stand for one within the country, anyways," a student argued.
Another student added that American athletes "have a duty to represent their country athletically, but they don't have any obligation to represent it good or bad."
The lack of American pride found on college campuses is not surprising, according to Gallup, a polling organization that has tracked national pride for decades. The organization has found that U.S. national pride has been on a steady downward trend since the early 2000s, especially among younger Americans.
"In past years," last month's survey noted, "there were only modest age differences. For example, in 2005, 10 percentage points separated the youngest (56%) and oldest adults (66%) in extreme pride, compared with a 27-point age gap today."
"Thus, the decline in national pride seen today appears to result partly from younger generations being less likely to say they are proud of their country than the older generations who preceded them," Gallup concluded.
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