US Olympian Gwen Berry lashes out after national anthem controversy

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US Olympian Gwen Berry fires back after anthem controversy: ‘I never said that I hated the country’
Gwen Berry, a newly qualified U.S. Olympic hammer thrower who came under fire for her demonstration during the national anthem at recent track-and-field trials, dismissed assertions she hates the country she represents.

Berry finished in third place at the trials and made the team set to head to Tokyo next month for the coronavirus-delayed Olympic Games. But she drew negative attention when she turned away from the American flag as the national anthem blared and later covered her face with a shirt that read “Activist Athlete.”

Amid scrutiny and boisterous claims she shouldn’t be representing the U.S. in the Games, Berry fired back in an interview with the Black News Channel on Tuesday.

“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,” Berry said.

“I never said that I hated the country. I never said that. 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.”

Berry said she specifically has an issue with a line in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which she says alludes to catching and beating slaves. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
– Gwen Berry, flag-snubbing US Olympian, sponsored by ‘defund the police’ advocates
– Colin Kaepernick camp applauds Gwen Berry’s ‘bravery’ in national anthem demonstration
– Pundits go to bat for Gwen Berry over American flag controversy, suggest criticism is hypocritical, racist
– Gwen Berry showed ‘courage’ in anthem demonstration, Olympic star Michael Johnson says
– WaPo columnist compares Dan Crenshaw to George Wallace for his ‘un-American’ criticism of Gwen Berry

Surfside condo building ‘swayed like a sheet of paper,’ survivor’s lawsuit says: ‘I screamed in horror’
Raysa Rodriguez says she was asleep inside the Champlain Towers condo building in Surfside, Florida, when it started to collapse last Thursday morning.

“Something work me up, and I found myself in the middle of the room,” she writes in a newly filed lawsuit against the condo association that ran the property. “The building swayed like a sheet of paper.”

Details about the lawsuit filed by Rodriguez on Monday were reported Tuesday by Miami-based FOX station WSVN-TV.

Rodriguez’s lawyer, Adam Moskowitz, says his client had been raising “red flags” about the safety conditions of the building “for months,” sending complaints and photos of cracks and other damage to the building association.

“Nobody seemed to take any of this seriously, unfortunately,” the lawyer told WSVN. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Florida condo building collapse: Biden to travel to Surfside on Thursday
– Outrage after CNN, Granholm suggest climate change could have role in Surfside building collapse: ‘Ghoulish’
– Miami-area condo that collapsed skirted local codes with penthouse
– Miami-area condo building collapse: UConn pitcher recalls harrowing incident, helping elderly woman get out

CNN rattled after Trump mocks network’s dismal ratings drop
CNN personalities are getting defensive after former President Trump mocked the liberal network’s dramatic ratings free fall. 

Trump issued a statement Tuesday taking aim at some of his media adversaries, singling out TV hosts like CNN anchor Jake Tapper, and pointing out how CNN’s ratings “are down 70%,” calling it a “wonderful thing to see!”

Tapper, who is widely regarded as CNN’s most professional journalist, retaliated with a swipe against the former president.

“If I had incited and inspired a deadly insurrection and attempt to undo American democracy I might not be out there bragging about how many viewers it had. On any channel. But maybe that’s just me, I’m a different breed of cat,” Tapper wrote.

Matt Dornic, CNN’s head of strategic communications, went even further, appearing to celebrate President Biden’s administration. 

“Imagine that. People are vaccinated, no longer terrified, and out enjoying their lives. If the trade-off is that every news net’s ratings are down, I’ll take it,” Dornic tweeted. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– CNN’s ‘The Lead with Jake Tapper’ has shed 75% of its audience since January
– CNN, MSNBC’s ratings collapse due to ‘serious credibility problem’ covering Biden, experts say
– CNN’s Brian Stelter has June to forget as ‘Reliable Sources’ ratings tank in Biden era

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TODAY’S MUST-READS:
– Ilhan Omar tells CNN: ‘I don’t’ regret equating US and Israel with the Taliban, blames Jewish lawmakers
– California man sought in Pennsylvania ‘So I raped you’ case from 2013
– Wuhan ‘Bat Lady’ worked with military scientists on coronavirus research, including one now ‘deceased,’ report says
– Guess what city’s traffic no longer nation’s worst, report says
– Wisconsin man gets 20 years for killing son, 5, in fight over slice of Father’s Day cake

THE LATEST FROM FOX BUSINESS:
– China manufacturing slows as supply shortages roil Asia industry
– Gold set for biggest monthly drop since 2016
– Saudi Arabia plans new national airline as it diversifies from oil
– Biden weighs new executive order restraining big business
– Southwest Airlines under fire for canceling thousands of flights

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Greg Gutfeld examined quotes attributed to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who said it’s time to end federal marijuana prohibitions on the books that “no longer make sense.”

The “Gutfeld!” host said he agrees. “At issue is the mixed-messaging and legality we get between the state and federal level,” he said. “Medical marijuana is available in 36 states and recreational in 18 … and those numbers only continue to grow.

“As Justice Thomas explained, ‘The federal government’s approach is a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana,’” Gutfeld added.

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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News’ Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Thursday.

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