LOS ANGELES, Nov 18 — Olympic gymnastics queen Simone Biles sprang to the defence of team-mate Aly Raisman yesterday in response to apparent criticism by fellow US gymnast Gabby Douglas.
Biles weighed in after a social media post by three-time Olympic gold medallist Raisman, who recently revealed she had been sexually abused by US team doctor Larry Nassar, triggered a critical response from Douglas.
Raisman’s initial Twitter posting urged for an end to shaming of sexual assault victims, stating that how a woman dressed should have no bearing on how allegations should be viewed.
“Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe when she comes forward about sexual abuse,” Raisman wrote.
“I will not put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress etc. I do not tolerate it. Are we clear?”
Douglas, however, a team-mate in the US women’s gold medal-winning team at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, appeared to challenge Raisman’s statement.
“It is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd,” Douglas wrote in a reply to Raisman’s post.
Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all around champion, later deleted the comment.
Biles, however, Tweeted a screen shot of Douglas’s comment and expressed “shock” at the post.
“Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me — honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her,” Biles wrote.
“I support you Aly ?? & all the other women out there! STAY STRONG,” Biles wrote.
Douglas subsequently apologised for her statement.
“i didn’t correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don’t stand alongside my teammates,” Douglas wrote on Twitter.
“regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. i am WITH you. #metoo” — AFP