The USA Olympic Gymnastics team was the ULTIMATE #GirlSquad after taking home team gold back in 2016. Several of its members are now publicly butting heads, however, after Gabby Douglas made a controversial response on Twitter in the wake of Aly Raisman’s sexual abuse allegations against doctor Larry Nassar — one that she is now apologizing for.
Raisman took to Twitter to respond to critics who emerged after she came forth with allegations of abuse, saying that sartorial choices do not warrant any type of inappropriate, unwanted behavior from the opposite sex.
“Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse,” she wrote, adding, “What is wrong with some of you? AND When a woman dresses sexy it does not give a man the right to sexually abuse her EVER.”
She continued. “Women are allowed to feel sexy and comfortable in their own skin, in fact I encourage you all to wear what you feel good in. I will not put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress, etc. I do not tolerate it. Are we clear? Oh and one more thing. STOP VICTIM SHAMING. It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear.”
With 270 comments, she undoubtedly received many messages of support, but one reply in particular had many raising an eyebrow. Quoting Raisman’s message, the Olympian’s teammate, Douglas, declared, “However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”
The remark did not sit well with many, including Simone Biles, who immediately came to Raisman’s defense, slamming Douglas with a short but powerful message. “Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me,” she replied. “Seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you and to support her. I support you, Aly, all the other women out there! STAY STRONG.”
Needless to say, backlash ensued, with Douglas returning to Twitter to issue an apology. “I didn’t correctly word my reply,” she clarified. “I am deeply sorry for coming off like I don’t stand alongside my teammates. Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you. #metoo.”
What do you make of Gabby Douglas’ comments? Tweet us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Nicholas Hunt, Joe Scarnici, + Laurence Griffiths/Getty)