Meghan McCain has some strong words for Gwen Berry, after the athlete silently protested during the Olympic trials. Berry, a U.S. hammer thrower and activist, has received intense backlash after she appeared to turn her back to the American flag as the national anthem was being played.
Discussing the incident on Tuesday’s episode of “The View,” McCain made it clear that she did not support Berry’s choice, even while saying she understands why athletes protest.
“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,” McCain started. “The problem I have is this woman is doing this internationally.”
McCain went on to argue that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “using the propaganda that America is an irredeemable craphole against us” and that Berry’s display only adds fuel to that fire, and becomes “a real national security risk.” McCain then went on to lament that her own love for the country is apparently now unacceptable.
“I don’t understand why we all can’t have shared experiences in this space, or have our own stories,” McCain said. “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.”
McCain progressively got angrier, as she passionately regaled an anecdote of her father John McCain telling her a story every Christmas about his prison cellmate, a man named Mike Christian. Per McCain, Christian used scraps he found in prison to sew the American flag into his prison garb, so that McCain and the other captives could say the Pledge of Allegiance to it.
“So excuse me if I don’t think some of these athletes are representing America in the same way. For some of us — I will die for this. 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.”
You can watch McCain’s comments via the video above.