Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw (Texas) said Monday that U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry should be kicked off the Olympic team for protesting the national anthem during the track and field Olympic trials over the weekend.
While standing on the podium to receive the bronze medal Saturday, Berry turned her back to the flag and draped a T-shirt with the phrase "Activist Athlete" over her head while the national anthem played.
Crenshaw took issue with the disparaging display in an appearance Monday morning on Fox News, during which he argued she should be "removed from the team."
"We don't need any more activist athletes," the lawmaker exclaimed. "You know, she should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That's the entire point, OK.
"So it's one thing when these NBA players do it — OK, fine, we'll just stop watching — but now the Olympic team?" he went on to say. "And it's multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement."
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Crenshaw went on to argue that Berry's protest and other similar demonstrations are ultimately the results of critical race theory being taught in American institutions. He noted that CRT and other progressive ideologies espouse that America's institutions are fundamentally and inherently racist.
"Taking it a couple levels deeper, this is the pathology that occurs when we're teaching critical race theory in our institutions ... it results in these displays of hatred towards our own country, and it's gotta stop," he said.
In response to Crenshaw's comments, Berry tweeted, "At this point, y'all are obsessed with me."
The athlete and world record holder later addressed Crenshaw directly by retweeting a message that said, "Dan can kiss my ass."
After the meet, Berry alleged that she was caught off guard by the anthem playing because it is typically not played after qualifying meets as it will be during the upcoming Olympic games.
"I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,'' she said. "I was pissed, to be honest."