“I won’t be watching this year.” Travis Tritt is taking a stand against Team USA and the Tokyo Olympics in light of recent protests.
“I’ve always been a huge supporter of our USA Olympic teams,” begins Tritt on his official Twitter Thursday.
The country singer has a history with the Olympic Games himself. “I was actually onstage at the Olympics in Atlanta the night before the bombing in 1996,” he continues, citing the tragedy.
Travis Tritt “won’t be watching” the Tokyo Olympics “this year,” however. With the hashtag “#GowokeGobroke,” Tritt makes his stance clear on the recent protests of U.S. Track and Field Olympian Gwen Berry.
A hammer thrower for the U.S. track and field team, Gwen Berry would create controversy by turning away from the American flag in protest Saturday, June 24.
Berry, however, did not originally plan on protesting during the June hammer throwing trials. But when the U.S. national anthem began playing unexpectedly, she took the chance to “stand against” racial injustice in America.
“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” Berry told ESPN. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”
Travis Tritt, Others Speak out Against U.S. Olympian’s Protest
It is unclear how Tritt plans to boycott the U.S. Olympics other than abstaining from viewership. So far, no statement has come from the National Olympic Committee for or against Berry’s protest.
Others have spoken out in line with the country musician prior, though. Former college football star and U.S. Army Ranger Jake Bequette had similar words on the matter June 30.
“I was very blessed to be able to play football for the University of Arkansas and for the New England Patriots. And standing there on the sideline before a game watching that flag wave and the national anthem play always filled me with pride,” he told Fox News. “And wearing that flag on my shoulder serving in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division was the greatest honor of my life.”
Further comments from Gwen Berry added more context to her decision.
“I never said that I didn’t want to go to the Olympic games, that’s why I competed and got third and made the team. I never said that I hated the country,” she offered in her first post-protest interview. “All I said was I respect my people enough to not stand for or acknowledge something that disrespects them. I love my people. Point blank, period.”
Specifically, Berry takes issue with the third verse of the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, which mentions slavery. Travis Tritt‘s response does not mention the national anthem or Berry specifically.
‘The problem I have is this woman is doing this internationally’
The U.S. Olympian’s clarification came amid further backlash from others, notably The View‘s Meghan McCain – daughter of late U.S. Sen. John McCain.
On The View’s June 27 broadcast, McCain likened Gwen Berry’s protest to “Russian propaganda.”
“I think, in regards to the athlete protesting — I’ve spent the last year and a half hearing every argument possible, and understanding why athletes protest in the United States of America, like Colin Kaepernick,” said McCain. “The problem I have is this woman is doing this internationally.”