The White House is defending Olympians who turn their backs during the National Anthem and to the U.S. flag during qualification trials and official games, which will be held in Tokyo later this year.
Under questioning from Fox News' Peter Doocy Monday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about athlete Gwen Berry turning her back to the U.S. flag and anthem over the weekend after coming in third at trials.
"Does President Biden think that is appropriate behavior for someone who hopes to represent Team USA?" Doocy asked.
"I haven't spoken to the President specifically about this but I know he's incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world," Psaki said. "He would also say of course that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we as a country haven't lived up to our highest ideals and it means respecting the right of people, granted to them in the constitutional, to peaceably protest."
Jen Psaki says that Joe Biden "is incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents," but that there "are moments where we as a country haven't lived up to our highest ideals." pic.twitter.com/RN1QfxtxHj— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 28, 2021
Others argue if Olympians want to represent the United States, especially internationally, they should respect the flag and anthem. Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw is calling for Berry to be removed from the team.
What is wrong with people?— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) June 27, 2021
Growing up, everyone stood for the American flag. Didn’t matter your politics, race, sex, income, religion; everyone stood for the flag. It was one of those civic rituals that brought us together. It still should today. ????https://t.co/sCidRZr05T
Imagine hating the country you represent but pretending you’re a hero standing up for principles you don’t even understand and you’ll be Gwen Berry. A disgrace. https://t.co/uPg1JwbkOJ— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) June 28, 2021
Also, the statement today is a familiar one.
Psaki’s statement today on Gwen Berry is the exact same as she gave in February when asked about the Dallas Mavericks refusal to play the anthem. https://t.co/2DeZUaGtax— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) June 28, 2021