Thankfully, Berry has since found a savior in Color of Change, who are sponsoring the Pan American Games gold medalist throughout the 2021 calendar year. And as he continues her quest to secure a spot in this summer’s Tokyo Games, Color of Change is also pressuring corporations to lend their support to the cause as well. To that end, the Washington Post reports that Puma has stepped up to the plate with a $15,000 contract that will also provide her with the necessary apparel and equipment to help bring home the gold. She’ll also participate in a campaign called “She Moves Us.”

“It’s one of the reasons why I’m still in this sport,” Berry told the Post. “If it wasn’t for Color of Change, I probably would not be in this sport.”


But Color of Change still has its foot on Nike’s neck, as evidenced by a scathing op-ed the civil rights advocacy organization wrote for this very outlet back in September.

“We’re tired of corporations only supporting Black people when it’s convenient or profitable. Athletes who stand up for racial justice should be rewarded, not punished, for their protests,” Color of Change wrote. “As an organization that has lifted up Black collegiate and professional athletes for years, Color of Change is proud to sponsor Berry—but it shouldn’t be up to civil rights groups to step in when corporations fail to meet the moment. We need Nike to put its money where its mouth is—and immediately renew its sponsorship of Gwen Berry.”


As for Berry, the USOPC has since softened its stance on protests and will now allow them during the Olympic trials. But in Tokyo, where the IOC reigns supreme, the Florissant, Mo., native remains subject to further punishment should she make another defiant stance in support of Black lives.

Don’t expect that to deter her from doing so, though.

“Absolutely not,” she told the Post. “The IOC will see me, and they will hear me.”


And here at The Root, we’ll always do our part to ensure that her voice is heard.