Poor Gabby Douglas. The Olympic gymnast has been the victim of vicious social media bullying during her time in Rio. After being accused of dissing Simone Biles and being unpatriotic, Gabby’s mom Natalie Hawkins defended her daughter in a new interview, saying Gabby is ‘heartbroken’ and has cried ‘many tears’ over all of the horrible attacks.
“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 teammates. Now you’re ‘Crabby Gabby’,” Gabby’s mom Natalie Hawkins said in an interview with Reuters.
Gabby, 20, received criticism for her reaction when fellow teammate Simone won the women’s gymnastics all-around event on Aug. 11. Many people called her out for not smiling enough and barely clapping for Simone. “You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?” Natalie said.
Gabby has been left devastated by the constant attacks. “What was going through her head was ‘I’m being attacked for everything I do so I might as well not do anything,” Natalie said in the interview. “Because no matter what I do, I am being attacked.’”
This is just terrible. This young girl doesn’t deserve this hate. The Olympian was also slammed for not being patriotic enough when she didn’t put her hand over her heart during the national anthem at the Olympics medal ceremony on Aug. 9.
“I don’t think respecting your country or your flag boils down to whether you put your hand over your heart or not,” her mom said. “We grew up in the military community. My mom 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.”