Twitter is coming to Gabby Douglas’ defense after the Olympic gymnast was the target of online bullying throughout the 2016 Olympics.
Leslie Jones, Gabrielle Union, Shonda Rhimes, and more have spoken out in defense of the American gymnast, using the hashtag, “LoveForGabbyUSA.”
“Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page show her the love you showed me #LOVE4GABBYUSA,” tweeted Jones. (The actress herself is no stranger to online attacks; after the release of Ghostbusters, Jones faced a barrage of racist social media messages that led to her leaving Twitter for a few days.)
“From one Gabby to another, I know. I KNOW!” Union tweeted. “@gabrielledoug U are loved. U are celebrated. U are a queen & we support u! #LOVEFORGABBYUSA.”
“True story: Yesterday my 3 yr old announced that her name is now GabbyDouglas Rhimes,” Rhimes added.
The online attacks included criticism after the Olympic gymnast stood at attention but didn’t hold her hand over her heart during the national anthem, and for appearing to not support her teammates when they won medals during the all-around individual finals.
Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, spoke on behalf of her daughter, dismissing the criticism as unfair and saying the 20-year-old Douglas was “heartbroken” by the targeted vitriol.
“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 teammates. Now you’re ‘Crabby Gabby’,” Hawkins told Reuters. “You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?”
Douglas posted that appreciated the online support and thanked those who spoke up for her. “Thank u so much for all the love! My heart is full!” she tweeted Monday afternoon. “@Lesdoggg I love you guys!”
See a collection of supportive tweets below.