At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas competed alongside Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Aly Raisman as part of the “Final Five.” Despite Gabby’s failure to qualify for an individual Gold medal on the uneven bars, she did win a Gold medal with the rest of her team in the Women’s team all-around, making her a three-time Olympic Gold medalist.
None of this matters in the slightest, however, because of the unforgivable sins that Gabby has committed at this year’s Olympics.
For starters, Gabby refused to take proper care of her hair.
She refused to place her hand over her heart during the National Anthem.
Just lost all respect for Gabby Douglas. Put your damn hand over your heart for the anthem.— N. WHITE (@NWHI) August 10, 2016
She was seen refusing to stand up and show support for her fellow teammates.
I have 0 respect for Gabby Douglas due to her poor attitude the entire Olympics. Wont cheer for team & always looking pissed!Hard to watch 😦— Stephanie Imes (@StephanieImes) August 14, 2016
Gabby Douglas didn't even give her teammates a standing ovation … Her stank attitude has reached a whole new level. I'm GLAD she's done.— stacy❁ (@staacyjynnette) August 12, 2016
And worst of all, she refused to smile.
The fact that when they showed Gabby Douglas & the Olympic teammates and she didn't stand or smile shows her true personality.— Elizabeth Grieser (@Elizagrieser) August 12, 2016
lol alright has anyone else noticed how snobby Gabby Douglas just was??? Her two teammates just won & she sat in her seat without a smile— Steph Freda (@stephfreda) August 12, 2016
Gabby Douglas is a sore loser/teammate doesn't seem happy for her teammates not excited at all just a bad attitude. Not what a champ does— michael bryant (@therealredalert) August 12, 2016
Of course, social media was right to call her out for these offenses, and to do so in the harshest ways possible. Because when you’re standing before a worldwide audience and performing near-impossible feats of physical activity that take years to master, your hair care and facial expressions should be your primary concerns. I mean, really … why are we supposed to care anything about your groundbreaking accomplishments if you don’t look good or happy while doing them?
Fortunately for Gabby, she was able to find plenty of support from others for having the audacity to focus on herself, her goals, and her teammates rather than focusing on the angry opinions of strangers on the Internet. Comedian/actress Leslie Jones (who has some familiarity with online harassment and the toll that it can take on a person) became aware of what was happening to Gabby and started the hashtag #Love4GabbyUSA so that she could receive many a word of encouragement to drown out everyone else who most likely cared little to nothing about gymnastics before, but couldn’t pass up a prime opportunity to try and put a Black woman in her place.
#LOVE4GABBYUSA nuff said.— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) August 15, 2016
Oh, and Jezebel: I know that the list of reasons why you and several of your writers tend to be the absolute worst are longer than a receipt from CVS, but let me add just one more reason.
This original headline you posted and then deleted soon after Black Twitter once again came after you and called you out on your shit…
(Jezebel) Do Your Worst, Haters, Gabby Douglas Won't Crumble https://t.co/oIAGP1TA5B— DNP News (@DNP_News) August 15, 2016
…where you’re basically challenging and inviting every Internet troll in existence to come after Gabby and make her life even more hellish than they already are? Don’t do that. Because all you do is make yourself and White Feminism™ look even worse than usual when you paint a bull’s-eye on a Black woman that we don’t and won’t see you painting on anyone else.
So even though Gabby went on to apologize and explain herself regarding her supposed lack of support for her teammates and her disrespect of the country she represents, her detractors would do well to read the fine print and keep in mind that Gabby Douglas owed them absolutely nothing. She’s a professional athlete representing her country to the very best of her ability, but everyone who judged and criticized her for not looking, acting, and sounding like what they want her to, all just to make themselves feel good, are far less deserving of an apology and an explanation and far more deserving of this: