Texas GOP Congressman Dan Crenshaw came under fire Monday after calling for track athlete Gwen Berry to be removed from the U.S. Olympic team, because she staged an impromptu protest during the national anthem on Saturday.
After winning the bronze medal in the hammer throw at the Olympic trials, and qualifying for Team USA, Berry turned away from the flag during the anthem, before covering her head with a T-shirt saying "Activist Athlete."
Berry, who has long been outspoken about racial injustice, said later she felt the timing of the anthem had been a "setup," because she was told it would be played before the medal winners took the podium, ESPN reported.
In an appearance on Fox & Friends on Monday morning, Crenshaw was asked about Berry's protest — which by then had become the outrage du jour for some conservatives, complete with tweets from the likes of Rep. Jim Jordan , Sen. Ted Cruz and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
"We don't need anymore activist athletes," Crenshaw responded. "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, you know, it's one thing when these NBA players do it. Fine, we'll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team? And it's multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement, that you believe in the country you're representing."
Crenshaw also blamed Berry's protest on U.S. schools teaching critical race theory.
"This is the pathology that occurs when we're teaching critical race theory into our institutions, because critical race theory, again, basically teaches that our institutions are racist, that our systems are deeply racist," he said. "You can't see the racism, because it's subtle, and if you deny it, it's because of you teaching people this constantly, and this is what it results in, in these displays of hatred towards our own country, and it's got to stop."
On Twitter, numerous commenters noted that Crenshaw voted against an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 pro-Trump insurrection at the Capitol — during which, among other things, rioters used American flags to attack Capitol Police officers. Others pointed out that Crenshaw has long been a critic of so-called cancel culture, and that he supported a legal effort to overturn the 2020 election results.
Dan Crenshaw and Brian Kilmeade are more upset at Gwen Berry for turning away from the Flag, than when terrorists u… https://t.co/hvOWg2wUhn— Jake Lobin (@Jake Lobin) 1624892093.0
But @DanCrenshawTX said nothing. Never forget: Dan Crenshaw turned his back on America. https://t.co/Dlnz7hCLHN— stonecircle (@stonecircle) 1624894620.0
@atrupar Don’t tell him about this then. https://t.co/g6akUqYiWj— Judy Howard, Esq 😷 🇺🇸 (@Judy Howard, Esq 😷 🇺🇸) 1624886895.0
@atrupar Dan Crenshaw tried to subvert the election and gut the Constitution. Gwen Berry put a BLM T-shirt on her h… https://t.co/SpQ6avH08H— Victoria Brownworth (@Victoria Brownworth) 1624894695.0
Dan Crenshaw, who wants to cancel Gwen Berry over a political protest, once wrote a whole book about why "cancel cu… https://t.co/ytCmskfcrl— Bryan Schott (@Bryan Schott) 1624893734.0
Reminder: This is Dan Crenshaw’s district in Houston. It’s the textbook example of partisan gerrymandering. Why we… https://t.co/xJfdSWwHNs— Naveed Shah 🇺🇸 (@Naveed Shah 🇺🇸) 1624892145.0
And yet insurrection supporters like @DanCrenshawTX @RepDanCrenshaw say *nothing* when poles w/ American flags were… https://t.co/g87JDXXWr4— Caldwell B. Cladwell (@Caldwell B. Cladwell) 1624895012.0