Gabby Douglas’ Mother Has Had Enough
In a recent interview, Gabby Douglas’ mother Natalie Hawkins called out her daughter’s critics, and she is over the Olympian receiving so much backlash.
“She’s had to deal with people criticizing her hair, or people accusing her of bleaching her skin. 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. Now you’re “Crabby Gabby”,” Hawkins said in an interview.
“You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?”
For the second Games running, Douglas has found herself caught in a firestorm despite yet another gold winning performance in Rio.
In 2012 Twitter went into overdrive after Douglas became the first African-American gymnast to win the Olympic all-around title. But rather than lauding her excellence, critics rounded on her for the state of her hair during the final.
Four years on and Douglas has another Olympic gold, from the women’s team competition, but the sheen from that victory has also been tarnished after TV cameras showed her standing to attention during the national anthem.
“I don’t think respecting your country or your flag boils down to whether you put your hand over your heart or not,” Hawkins said.
“It’s in your actions towards your country, how well are you abiding by its laws, how well are you helping your fellow citizens?
“We grew up in the military community. My mum spent almost 30 years in the military, my dad’s a two-time Vietnam vet. Because of that it was so insulting that they would accuse my daughter of being unpatriotic when we are so tied to the military family.
“When the Star Spangled Banner is played, most military members either salute or stand to attention.”
Gabby herself addressed the backlash in a recent interview and she claims the whole ordeal has been hurtful.
E! News writes:
The Team USA Olympic gymnast has been plagued by social media bulling since arriving in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, but now she’s speaking out to defend herself. “When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand on my heart of me being very salty in the stands, they’re really criticizing me,” Douglas told reporters on Sunday. “It doesn’t really feel good. It was a little bit hurtful.”