(USA Features) “The View” co-host Meghan McCain blasted U.S. Olympian Gwen Berry for snubbing the American flag during the playing of the National Anthem after she made the team in the hammer-throw with a third-place finish on Saturday.
McCain began by referencing remarks from Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a former U.S. Navy SEAL who lost an eye in an IED explosion in Afghanistan following multiple deployments. During an interview on Fox News Monday, Crenshaw said Berry should be kicked off the squad because her purpose is to represent the country in international competition.
McCain, whose late father and long-serving U.S. senator and former U.S. Navy pilot, John McCain, spent nearly six years in a North Vietnamese prison camp after being shot down during the war, agreed.
“The problem I have is this woman is doing this internationally,” McCain said during the show on Monday.
She went on to say that leaders in countries that are potential American enemies like Russia and China will use Berry’s act as propaganda to hurt U.S. interests.
“He’s using the propaganda that America is an irredeemable craphole against us — saying, ‘You think your country’s so great over there? Look at BLM, look at everything that’s happening in your country, you don’t even treat your people correctly’ — at the same time, while he’s literally imprisoning people,” she said of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“And we’re having our enemies and [propagandistic] dictators using our own propaganda against us, which, in turn, turns into a real national security risk,” she continued.
Berry caused outrage when she turned her back to the U.S. flag as the anthem played after winning a Bronze medal in the hammer throw during a competition in Eugene, Ore.
McCain added that she doesn’t believe deep feelings of patriotism are acceptable anymore in American pop culture.
“For some reason, my relationship with the flag isn’t allowed anymore — my love of the American flag, my love of the national anthem,” she said.
McCain went on to recount a story her father told at Christmastime about a fellow prisoner of war, Mike Christian, who sewed the U.S. flag to the inside of his prison garb so he and fellow prisoners could recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day while they were in captivity.
She said eventually North Vietnamese guards found the flag and “beat the living crap” out of him, but that didn’t stop Christian from making another.
“Do you want to know the first thing Mike Christian started doing?” McCain continued. “He started re-sewing the American flag into his prison garb so his cellmates could say the Pledge of Allegiance and remember what they were doing and what they were fighting for in prison for America.
“So excuse me if I don’t think some of these athletes are representing America in the same way,” she said, getting visibly upset.
“And 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,” she added.
“It’s not about you, it’s about all of us.”