Despite the ladies of Team USA pulling off a spectacular gold medal performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, some were less than impressed with Gabby Douglas’s ‘shameful’ display during the National Anthem.
When the five Olympians lined up for the medal ceremony, Douglas did not hold her hand over her heart during the song like the other four women, causing outrage on social media.
Holding one’s hand on his or her heart is actually a part of the U.S. Flag Code, as is removing one’s hat during the anthem.
Douglas kept both of her hands at her sides, as you can see from the picture below:
Many Twitter users let the 20-year-old have it online:
Um, Gabby Douglas. Why is your hand not on your heart during our National Anthem? 🤔 #teamusa #finalfive
— Chelsey Lamar (@misschelseygail) August 9, 2016
@gabrielledoug shameful. Ruined the proud moment. Move somewhere else 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Patricia Esham (@triciaesham) August 10, 2016
As a military kid #GabbyDouglas knows the proper way to respect the anthem. #shame #finalfive #USA
— P*huey (@hueyx5) August 9, 2016
The outcry was big enough for Douglas to respond on social media:
#GoUSA❗️ #TeamUSA❗️ #FinalFive❗️ 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/vzhFZxYOWb
— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 10, 2016
Her tweet reads:
“First I want to say thank you everyone for all your support! It’s a huge honor for me to be able to represent #TeamUSA. In response to a few tweets I saw tonight, I always stand at attention out of respect for our country whenever the national anthem is played.
I never meant any disrespect and apologize if I offended anyone. I’m so overwhelmed at what our team accomplished today and overjoyed that we were able to bring home another gold for our country.”
Douglas has won a single gold medal so far this year with Team USA, making it her third Olympic gold since first competing in 2012.
Do you think athletes should put their hand over their heart during the playing of the national anthem? Let us know in the comments below.