Internet Rallies Around Gabby Douglas After Social Media Bullying During Rio Olympics
While all Olympians are subject to intense public scrutiny, Gabby Douglas has been facing significantly more backlash than most.
The 20-year-old gymnast told reporters on Sunday, “When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand on my heart or me being very salty in the stands, they’re really criticizing me. It doesn’t feel good. It was a little bit hurtful.”
To send some support her way (and drown out some of the hate), fans started tweeting #LOVE4GABBYUSA to show their solidarity. Leslie Jones, who took recently took a Twitter hiatus due to receiving Internet abuse, was one of the first to send the love her way, tweeting: “Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page show her the love you showed me.”
Here are some of the sweetest fan posts for Douglas.//storify.com/peoplemag/fans-send-support-to-gabby-douglas-with-love4gabby.js?header=false&border=false
WATCH: Gold Medalist Dominique Moceanu on Gabby Douglas Being Bullied
“Everything I’ve gone through has been a lot this time around,” Douglas told reporters, “and I apologize if [I seemed] really mad in the stands. I wasn’t. I was supporting Aly. And I always will support them and respect them in everything they do. I never want anyone to take it as I was jealous or I wanted attention. Never. I support them, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t showing it.”
“I’ve been through a lot,” she added. “I still love them. I still love the people who love me. Still love them who hate me. I’m just going to stand on that.”