In an episode of “The View” on Tuesday, co-host Meghan McCain went after athlete Gwen Berry who notably turned away from the American flag during the national anthem in protest at the recent U.S. Olympic track and field trials.
“Berry placed third in the hammer throw on Saturday, qualifying her for the Tokyo Olympics. As the National Anthem began to play with the winners standing on the podium, Berry turned away from the flag so that she was facing the stands. Toward the end of the anthem, she pulled up a black T-shirt with the words ‘Activist Athlete’ on the front to cover her head,” as The Daily Wire reported.
Some of the co-hosts on the show went after Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) for his remarks against Berry, to which McCain initially responded.
“I just want to first and foremost say that Dan Crenshaw is an American hero. He’s a Navy SEAL that got his eye blown out, among other things, and was on Navy SEAL teams that killed terrorists and did incredible things defending our nation,” McCain said, per Fox News.
.@MeghanMcCain went off on Gwen Berry after the athlete turned away from the flag as the national anthem played, with #TheView host saying she "will die on this hill that it is not appropriate or patriotic."
"It's not about you, it's about all of us." pic.twitter.com/cKFbnlcYvs
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) June 29, 2021
“The problem I have is this woman is doing this internationally. And if anyone just saw Vladimir Putin’s recent speech when he met with President Biden, he’s using the propaganda that America is an irredeemable craphole against us, saying, ‘You think your country is so great over there? … You don’t even treat your people correctly.’ At the same time where he’s literally imprisoning people,” McCain added. “And we’re having our enemies and propagandic [sic] dictators using our own propaganda against us, which, in turn, turns into a real national security risk.”
“My other problem with this is I don’t understand why we all can’t have shared experiences in this space, or have our own stories, because for some reason my relationship with the flag isn’t allowed anymore. My love of the American flag, my love of the National Anthem,” she said.
McCain told a story of her father, John McCain, noting that it is “triggering” for some folks when she brings up the late senator. She said that while her father was imprisoned, one of his fellow inmates had sewn an American flag into his prison clothing so that he and the other inmates could say the Pledge of Allegiance each day.
“One day the Vietnamese captors found that and beat the living crap out of [the man], Mike Christian, to the point that his eyes and his body was so badly injured that he could barely move. And the second that he was able to move again — do you want to know the first thing Mike Christian started doing?” McCain said. “He started resewing the American flag into his prison garb so his cell mates could say the Pledge of Allegiance and remember what they were doing and what they were fighting for in prison for America.”
“So excuse me if I don’t think some of these athletes are representing America in the same way,” she added. “I will die on this hill that it is not appropriate or patriotic to go to a foreign country where you’re supposed to be representing America, and act like it’s just about you. It’s not about you, it’s about all of us.”
Berry has been criticized by many conservatives for turning away from the American flag during the national anthem, stating that it was a “set up” since she said that she was informed the anthem would play before she was on the podium to get her medal, per The Daily Wire.
“I feel like it was setup,” Berry told The Washington Post. “I feel like they did that on purpose, and I was pissed, to be honest. I was thinking about what should I do. Eventually, I just stayed there and just swayed. I put my shirt over my head. It was real disrespectful. I know they did that on purpose, but it’ll be all right. I see what’s up.”
The White House supported Berry’s right to protest the flag this week, as others made the argument that if someone is representing America on the world stage, it is inappropriate to protest the American flag.
On Thursday, Fox News reported that McCain is expected to leave “The View” at the end of July. “The Daily Mail reported she will announce her exit on Thursday and depart the program at the end of July with two years remaining on her contract,” the outlet noted.
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