Group of Congressmen seek action over anti-American sentiments.
Mississippi Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) and 15 of his colleagues recently sent a letter to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) requesting the organization discipline athletes who dishonor the United States and its flag, as outlined in the International Olympic Committee’s charter.
The letter notes the recent comments of two athletes.
In March, Chelsea Wolfe, who qualified to represent the U.S. as an alternate in 2021, pledged to “burn a US flag on the podium” if she pulls off an upset and places in the games.
In late June, at the women’s U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials, third place finisher Gwen Berry turned away from the U.S. flag during the national anthem. She later explained she believes that the national anthem is “disrespectful” and pledged to “not stand or acknowledge” it.
“Such anti-American statements divide the U.S. domestically and embarrass us abroad,” the group of Congressmen write.
The letter outlines Congress’s authority to dissolve the USOPC Board of Directors and find a replacement if the organization continues to ignore its own rules and allow continued misconduct from members of the U.S. Olympic team.
Congressman Guest says those athletes who seek to betray the U.S. should not be allowed to compete on the international stage.
“These men and women are talented and have risen above their peers in their sports. However, the honor of representing the United States and every single American citizen comes with added responsibility beyond that of performance on the field,” Congressman Guest said in a statement. “Those athletes who want to use a one-in-a-million chance to compete for Team U.S.A. as an avenue to betray their country – the same country that afforded them the freedom to pursue the dream of competing in the Olympics – should not be on the same stage as those athletes who proudly represent our country in an international event.”