She then turned away from the flag while “The Star-Spangled Banner” played during the medal ceremony and draped a T-shirt carrying the words “activist athlete” over her head.
Berry later said she was “set up” on the podium having been told that the anthem would be played before the ceremony.
USA Track and Field (USATF) has not responded to CNN’s requests for comment, but according to Reuters, it said the anthem was played each day at the trials according to a pre-arranged schedule.
“I never said that I didn’t want to go to the Olympic Games. That’s why I competed and got third and made the team,” Berry told CNN affiliate Black News Channel on Monday.
“I never said that I hated the country, never said that. All I said was I respect my people enough to not stand or acknowledge something that disrespects them. I love my people point blank, period.”
Berry also said that there was no prior mention of the anthem being played while the athletes were on the podium, hence why she thought it was a setup. During the trials, the anthem has been played once each evening.
“The intent was we would be introduced to the crowd either before or after the singing of the national anthem,” said Berry. “If we had the option, or if I knew that I was going to be on the podium, I would have chosen something else.”
Asked about Berry’s actions on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she hadn’t spoken to President Joe Biden about the incident.
Psaki added: “He is 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.
“He would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we, as a country, haven’t lived up to our highest ideals. And it means respecting the rights of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest.”
In 2019, Berry lost some of her sponsorships after raising her fist in protest on the podium at the Pan American Games in Peru.
She received a 12-month probation from the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for the act, which she says was meant to highlight social injustice in America.