Gymnast Gabby Douglas Apologizes After Backlash to Modesty Comment to Fellow Olympian Aly Raisman

Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

An emotional disagreement broke out among the members of the 2016 Summer Olympic’s Final Five after gymnast Gabby Douglas commented on an anti-victim-blaming Instagram post made by teammate Aly Raisman. In response to Raisman’s text, which encouraged women to “wear what you feel good in” despite those who would blame sexual assault on a woman’s clothing, Douglas seemed to disagree. “However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy,” Douglas tweeted. “Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”

Fellow Olympian Simone Biles subsequently came to Raisman’s defense and expressed her disappointment at Douglas’s comment. “Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me,” Biles said in part. “Honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her.” Earlier this month, Raisman came forward to allege that she, like more than 130 other young women and girls, was sexually assaulted by U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. According to a recent interview on 60 Minutes, the gold medalist says she was abused while under Nassar’s care.

Douglas eventually apologized for her comment, which she says was not intended as a criticism of Raisman. “I didn’t correctly word my reply & I am deeply sorry for coming off like I don’t stand alongside my teammates,” Douglas explained. “Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you. #metoo.”

Gymnast Gabby Douglas Apologizes for Modesty Comments