BThe great oxing George Foreman said he was “not ashamed” of his love for America in a tribute to Independence Day, in stark contrast to recent protests by some professional athletes against the American flag.
âFor about 54 years people have wondered[ed] me not to keep saying ‘I love America’ “, Foreman wrote in a tweet, accompanied by a photo of him wearing an American team boxing uniform and holding an American flag which was taken after winning the Olympic gold medal in 1968. âWell, I do and I’m not ashamed. Don’t let it; Love it. Happy 4th of July. “
At 19, Foreman competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and won the gold medal, beating Soviet boxer Jonas Cepulis to become the heavyweight champion of the games. Foreman, who would later become a world heavyweight champion, waved an American flag as he paraded into the ring after his Olympic victory.
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âI had a lot of criticism,â he said of the incident in a 2012 interview. âAt that time, no one was being applauded for their patriotism. The whole world was protesting against something. But if I had to do it again, I would have waved two flags. “
Foreman’s Sunday tribute contrasts with the opinions of other prominent athletes on the flag.
At a recent Olympic qualifying ceremony, hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who placed third in the event, turned away from the American flag and sported a t-shirt that read “Activist Athlete” while the national anthem was being played.
Let’s be clear: I respect the constitution, âBerry told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday following the incident. âBecause obviously I was exercising my constitutional right. But I will not defend any type of symbol or song that does not represent everyone in America. “
âWe’ll see,â Berry said when asked if she would be doing something similar at the Tokyo Games ceremonies. “It just depends on how I’m feeling and what I want to do at the time.”
Other athletes began to protest the American flag and the national anthem, with dozens of professional athletes kneeling during the festivities in protest in the name of social justice since the former NFL quarterback , Colin Kaepernick, took the step in 2016.
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Republican lawmakers pushed back the protests, with some calling for Berry to be removed from the U.S. Olympic team.
“If Ms. Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there is no reason she needs to compete for our country,” said Republican Senator Tom Cotton. “She should be taken off the Olympic team.”
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Keywords: News, Boxing, Sports, Independence Day, America, Flag
Original author: Jeremy Beaman
Original location: George Foreman expresses his patriotism amid athlete protests against the American flag