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Former NFL player Jake Bequette said on Tuesday that track and field star Gwen Berry’s decision to turn her back on the U.S. flag and the Biden administration’s subsequent support was “very upsetting” to witness.
“I was very blessed to be able to play football for the University of Arkansas and for the New England patriots. And standing there on the sideline before a game watching that flag wave and the national anthem play always filled me with pride,” the former Army officer told “Fox & Friends.”
Bequette played defensive end for the University of Arkansas and the New England Patriots. After his NFL career, he joined the Army. He was selected in the third round with the 90th overall pick by the Patriots in the 2012 NFL Draft and then retired in 2015.
“And wearing that flag on my shoulder serving in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division was the greatest honor of my life.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki Monday defended Berry’s decision to turn her back on the nation’s flag, saying Berry was seeking to “peacefully protest” the moments that Americans “haven’t lived up to our highest ideals.”
Berry, 31, placed third over the weekend in the hammer throw during the U.S. Olympic trials, earning her a spot on the team. As the National Anthem was played, she turned from the flag.
“This weekend, Gwen Berry, who hopes to represent the United States as an Olympian on the hammer throwing events, won a bronze medal at the trials, and then she turned her back on the flag while the anthem played,” Fox News’ Peter Doocy said to Psaki during the daily White House briefing. “Does President Biden think that is appropriate behavior for someone who hopes to represent Team USA?”
“Well, Peter, I — I haven’t spoken to the President specifically about this, but I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the Anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world,” Psaki said.
Bequette concluded, “It makes me very upset to see some athletes and even President Biden blatantly disrespecting our flag and the great country that flag stands for. So if Gwen Berry wants to you know, if she hates this country so much. Then she should quit the U.S. Olympic team and go compete somewhere else.”
Fox News’ Keith Koffler contributed to this report.