Olympic medalist Gabby Douglas tells women to ‘dress modestly’ in response to a former teammate’s sexual-assault allegation
Multi-Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas lit up social media on Friday night after she tweeted what some interpreted as criticism toward her Olympic teammate, Aly Raisman, who came forward last week to accuse a USA Gymnastics team doctor of sexual assault.
Douglas’ now-deleted tweet pointed to Raisman’s criticism of people who shame victims of sexual assault: “It is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy,” Douglas said. “Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”
Raisman’s original tweet sounded off on what she said were the dangers of victim-shaming people who have endured sexual abuse. The Olympic gymnast said she would not “put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress, etc.”
“STOP VICTIM SHAMING,” Raisman’s note said. “It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear.”
Douglas’ remarks were swiftly criticized on social media. Her name became one of the top trending topics on Twitter Friday evening.
Douglas later tweeted a clarification, saying that she “didn’t correctly word” her previous comments.
“I am deeply sorry for coming off like I don’t stand alongside my teammates,” she tweeted. “Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you. #metoo.”
However, Douglas’ original tweet was noticed by teammate Simone Biles: “Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me,” Biles tweeted in response to a screenshot of Douglas’ tweet. “Honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there! STAY STRONG.”
During an interview on “60 Minutes” last week, Raisman alleged that Dr. Larry Nassar, the team’s doctor, sexually abused her. Her claim follows teammate McKayla Maroney’s accusation against Nassar last month, in which Maroney alleged Nassar had molested her since she was 13.
Nassar plead guilty to possession of child pornography and is in jail in Michigan, awaiting sentencing, the Associated Press reported last week.