Social media trolls are constantly sharing their feelings, and are also quick to tell someone else how they should feel too.
I know because, depending on the subject, I am one. Yes, I have been known to read people for filth, and then overdo said reading on a news report that makes me feel extra passionate. But glory, after seeing one of the world’s best gymnasts get criticized for wearing her feelings on her chest after being bullied, I can equivocally say that I’ve seen the light, and the error of my trolling ways.
Things haven’t been going so great for Gabby Douglas in Rio. On top of not being the powerhouse she was at the 2012 London Olympics, she was criticized for not putting her hand on her chest during the National Anthem.
It was so bad that trolls and non-trolls alike were calling her a “sorry American.”
Through it all, Gabby responded tearfully to critics after finishing seventh on the uneven bars, her only individual event, the LA Times reports. She said,
“I support them and I’m sorry that I wasn’t showing it…And I should have but for me, it’s been a lot. And I’ve been through a lot. I still love the people who love me. Still love them who hate me. I’ve just got to stand on that.”
She also reiterated that she stood at attention in respect for the anthem and wondered why it was perceived as disrespectful. Douglas said she had “no regrets” in coming back for a second Olympics run.
“For me, when you go through a lot and you have so many difficulties and people against you, sometimes it just determines your character,” she said. “Are you going to stand or are you going to crumble? In the face of everything, still stand.”
As always, her response was classy. But I don’t think she needed to respond or apologize for anything because she did nothing wrong.
She stood at attention, which is respectful.
Gabby doesn’t care about her hair while she’s on the floor, so shut up about it.
Most of all, she is allowed to be disappointed, sad, and critical of herself, while at the same time supporting her teammates.
So no, Gabby does not have to feel bad for anything that she has done in Rio, because she has done her best, and has always remained a class act. Moreover, there is no way we can convince future generations of athletes watching the Olympics that all you need to do in order to be successful is to try your best, when we tear them down after they attemp a try. How’s that for counter productivity?
So Gabby, keep shining on your haters, and use their bellyaching as your fuel. I’ve got your back. 😊