Look: The Internet Hate That Brought Gabby Douglas to Tears

Gabby Douglas

Look: The Internet Hate That Brought Gabby Douglas to Tears

The gymnast's mom even had to step in and defend her daughter.

PUBLISHED ON : AUGUST 15, 2016 / 11:08 AM

Social media has zero chill whatsoever and Gabrielle Douglas is feeling the full effects of that.

As a member of Team USA's historic Final Five gymnastics squad, the three-time gold medal winner candidly explained how Internet slander — whether it's about her hair or not covering her heart with her hand during the National Anthem — has taken a toll on her emotionally.

"I tried to stay off the internet because there's just so much negativity," a teary-eyed Douglas told the media over the weekend, as reported by ESPN. "Either it was about my hair or my hand not over my heart [on the medal podium] or I look depressed. It was hurtful. It was hurtful. It was. It's been kind of a lot to deal with."

As the 20-year-old alluded to, Twitter and Instagram trolls have been dragging Gabby about her hairstyle over the course of these Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Then, when the Final Five won the team competition handedly last week, Douglas was criticized for putting her hands to her sides and not covering her heart during the National Anthem of the squad's gold medal ceremony.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09:  (R to L) Gold Medalists Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Lauren Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Alexandra Raisman of the United States stand on the podium for the national anthem at the medal ceremony for the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The backlash drove Gabby to issue an apology, even though Michael Phelps didn't receive criticism for laughing during the National Anthem of one of his gold medal ceremonies nor did countless male athletes for not covering their hearts over the years.

Of course, the internet could care less about someone's feelings. Terrible.

That being said, Douglas's mom, Natalie Hawkins, is absolutely sick and tired of her daughter getting treated this way on social media.

"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," Hawkins told Reuters. "Then it went to not supporting your teammates. Now you're ‘Crabby Gabby.' You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?"

Sadly, there are unhealthy portions of the internet who feel good about themselves by putting others down.

We hope Gabby will learn how to deal with these online bullies.

After all, there's a good chance that they will never reach her level of greatness.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photos from top: Tom Pennington/Getty Images, Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


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