The 31-year-old has a history of activism. raised her fist when The Star-Spangled Banner was ended as she won gold at 2019 Pan American Games. She said it was a protest against injustices in the US and Donald Trump's presidency. After finishing third in the trials, Berry was placed on the podium for the anthem. Berry placed her left arm on her hip, and then shuffled her feet. Berry turned so that she was facing the flag and not the stands. She pulled out her black T-shirt, with the words "Activist Athlete," printed on it, and draped it over the top of her head towards the end.
Berry believes that it was not an accident that Berry was in the center of the anthem. The anthem at the US trials is not performed with the medal ceremonies, unlike the Olympics. The hammer throwers were awarded just before the beginning of the evening session. This was despite the fact that the evening session had been underway all week, with the scoreboard showing a video rendition The Star-Spangled Banner. Berry expressed concern about the timing of Berry's anthem. Berry admitted that he was "pissed" about the timing of the anthem.
Susan Hazzard, spokeswoman for USA Track and Field, stated that the national anthem would be played at 5.20pm. We didn't wait for the athletes to be on the podium to present the hammer throw award. "The national anthem plays every day according to a previously published calendar." The music began at 5.25pm on Saturday.
Berry stated that they had said they would play the anthem before we walked out and then they did so when we were there. "But I don’t want to talk about anthem, because it’s not important. It doesn't speak for myself. It has never spoken for me."
Berry's third place finish in trials ensures her a spot at the Olympics. She has also promised to use her position as a platform to raise awareness about the injustices in America. She stated that her purpose and mission was more than sports. "I am here to represent those who have died from systemic racism. That's what is important. This is why I am here. This is why I am here today."
Berry's gesture received almost no reaction from the crowd, and DeAnna Price won Saturday's hammer trial. She said that she was proud of her teammate. "I believe people should be free to express themselves. Price stated that she is proud of her.
Berry stated that she must get her body, mind and spirit "right" in order to compete at the Olympics. Tokyo's women's hammer throw begins on August 1. She doesn't believe she has to be there in Tokyo to make an impact. She said that she doesn't have to be a professional athlete. "All I have to do is to speak up for my community, to support my community and help my neighbors. Because it's more important that sports.
Berry's protest at the 2019 Pan American Games resulted in a sanction. However, the US Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee decided to make it mandatory for that they do not penalize athletes who kneel or raise their fists at trials or in Tokyo. This could be a flashpoint for Tokyo where the IOC has stated that it will enforce Rule 50, which bans demonstrations at sporting events. This is the same prohibition that saw sprinters Tommie Smith, John Carlos and John Carlos being returned to the Mexico City Games in 1968 .