Hammer thrower Gwen Berry, sanctioned by the American Olympic and Paralympic Committee last year for protesting against racial injustice during a competition, asked for an apology from the body, which denounced the racist police violence after the death of George Floyd.
“I want a letter of apology … mailed … just like the ones you and the International Olympic Committee SENT ME WHEN YOU IMPOSED A PROBATION PERIOD. Stop playing with me, “Gwen Berry said on Twitter on Tuesday.
I want an apology letter .. mailed .. just like you and the IOC MAILED ME WHEN YOU PUT ME ON PROBATION.. stop playing with me https://t.co/qCWGINHg8M
— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) June 2, 2020
The 30-year-old woman responded to the letter sent to US athletes by USOPC Executive Director Sarah Hirshland, who said she felt “a sense of hopelessness” when she saw the tragic scene of the white policeman leaning his knee on the neck of this black man, eight days ago in Minneapolis.
“We absolutely condemn the systemic inequality that disproportionately affects black Americans in the United States,” wrote Hirshland. “It has no place in our community or any other. It is clear that there are no forces as harmful and degrading as the racism and marginalization practised by some occupying positions of authority. ”
Hirshland, stressing that “apathy and indifference are not solutions,” announced that the USOPC had planned to hold a forum on Friday to give American athletes the opportunity to “listen to each other.”, learn from each other and support each other. ”
Words that absolutely did not convince Gwen Berry, sanctioned by the USOPC in August 2019 for having raised her fist during a medal ceremony at the Pan American Games in Lima, in order to protest against racial injustice.
Put on probation for twelve months, with the risk of a harsher penalty if she repeated such an act, Berry told Sports Illustrated that it had cost him about $ 50,000 in lost revenue from sponsors, but that she finally felt “understood”.
“When I took a stand, it was at a time when things were happening, but nothing was done. Now I feel like everyone is feeling what I was feeling, ”she said.