Aug 16, 2016 08:32 AM EDT
2016 Rio Olympics News: Gymnast Gabby Douglas Devastated Over 'Hurtful' Comments Online
In recent 2016 Rio Olympics news, Team USA gymnast Gabby Douglas has revealed her hurt over the backlash she gained for not putting her hand over her heart during the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner." This comes after the 2012 Olympic champion has continued to earn backlash online from her hair to her attitude.
According to The New York Times, Douglas was also slammed online for just quietly sitting while the rest of Team USA cheered on Simone Biles and Aly Raisman to a one-two finish. "I apologize if that made me seem to be really mad in the stands," she said.
"I was supporting Aly. I will always will support them and respect them. I don't want anyone to take it as jealous or I wanted attention. Never. I support them and I'm sorry I wasn't showing it."
Douglas admitted that "it was really hurtful" for her when people criticized her for her hair or for not putting her hand over her heart or "for being very salty in the stands." "Did I choose my hair texture? No. I'm grateful for having this hair on my head. When you read that hurtful stuff you're like 'OK, wow,'" she added.
Her mother, Natalie Hawkins, told Reuters that Douglas has been called a mean nickname, "Crabby Gabby." "She's had to deal with people criticizing her hair, or people accusing her of bleaching her skin," the gymnast's mother said.
"They said she had breast enhancements, they said she wasn't smiling enough, she's unpatriotic. Then it went to not supporting your team mates."
Hawkins explained that she and Gabby grew up in the military community, saying that most military members either salute or stand to attention - instead of putting their hands over their hearts. "We've been brought to many tears because I don't know what she's done to warrant such an attack. To me it looks like she is being bullied," she added.
Join the Conversation