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Gabby Douglas Speaks Out About ‘Hurtful’ Twitter Bullies: ‘It’s Been Kind of a Lot to Deal With’

Gabby Douglas at the Rio Olympic Games
Gabby Douglas at the Rio Olympic games. Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Enough is enough! That’s what Gabby Douglas is telling her online haters, who have been trolling her throughout this year’s Rio Olympic games.

The celebrated gymnast has been on the receiving end of some nasty internet bullying since she was perceived as being disrespectful for not placing her hand over her heart for the national anthem at her medal ceremony.

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But despite apologizing, the criticism hasn’t stopped, and now she’s spoken out about the “hurtful” comments.

“I tried to stay off the internet because there’s just so much negativity,” she said. “Either it was about my hair or my hand not over my heart or I look depressed. It was hurtful. It was hurtful. It was. It’s been kind of a lot to deal with.”

She continued: “I apologized if I offended anyone. I’ve always said it was an honor to represent the U.S. You always do this for your country, and then, like people say, for yourself and other people.”

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Douglas was also slammed for not joining a standing ovation for two of her teammates, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, when they claimed gold and silver in the all-around final.

“When I heard some of the comments, I was finally like ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s far from me and far from my personality at all,’” said the 20-year-old.

The gold medalist’s mother, Natalie Hawkins, has been quick to jump to her daughter’s defense too, insisting she’s heartbroken over the mean nickname “Crabby Gabby” and being branded unpatriotic and miserable.

“What I saw in the stands was someone who was hurting and she was also angry. What was going through her head was ‘I’m being attacked for everything I do so I might as well not do anything. Because no matter what I do, I am being attacked.'”

Gabby Douglas
Gold Medalists Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Lauren Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Alexandra Raisman (from left) 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 Aug. 9, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Hawkins also told Reuters: “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 team mates. Now you’re ‘Crabby Gabby.’ You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?”

Douglas finished seventh in the uneven bars on Sunday, August 15, after qualifying third.

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