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Gabby Douglas Sparks Mixed Responses With Her Bullying Claim

August 28, 2012 03:25:19 GMT

Gabrielle Douglas, who won a gold medal each in Olympic individual and team gymnastic matches, is slammed by former Excalibur Gymnastics members for accusing her former co-trainees of bullying her.


Gabby Douglas Sparks Mixed Responses With Her Bullying Claim
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Gabrielle Douglas caused controversy after she confessed to Oprah Winfrey that she was bullied during her early training at a gym in Virginia Beach, Va. She said, "I was just, you know, kind of getting racist jokes, kind of being isolated from the group. So it was definitely hard. I would come home at night and just cry my eyes out."

Randy Stageburg, a former Senior International Elite and National Team member who once trained with Gabby at Excalibur Gymnastics, called the accusation ridiculous and sickening. "I watched [head coaches] dena and Gustavo put so much of their time and effort into gabby and the other athletes, no matter their race," she posted on GymNewstics.

"Gabby was never a victim, in fact many would say she was one of the favorites. I am not saying that she never felt bullied because when you are in a sport with a bunch of girls it is bond (sic) to happen. However, anything that she may have felt was never about race and I can assure you everyone at some point has felt bullied."

"I never once heard her complain about girls being mean, funny how it is just now coming up. Also, not only does she owe the gym thousands of dollars but she owes dena thousands as well," she said, before mentioning other African-American gymnasts who "have nothing but great things to say about their experience at Excalibur."

Another former Senior International Elite, Kristina Coccia, agreed with Randy. "I've had the pleasure of knowing the Excalibur coaches for many years- never once would I question their coaching or love for their athletes. In fact, Dena and Jim were the first coaches to congratulate other athletes, as well as their own," she said in defense of the coaches.

"While I wasn't personally coached by Jim, Dena or Gustavo- what Gabby is saying makes me sick. Pay back the money you owe, stop playing the victim and respect the coaches who got you to the Elite level. Because the Excalibur family is one that I personally remember during my career. This entire story makes me sick sometimes," she continued.

Some of the readers were not really impressed by the Elites' reaction. One wrote, "I find it really gross that a gym run by, apparently adults, would come out of the gate and defame and publicly ridicule a 16-year old young woman for speaking of her experiences with other female gymnasts."

Another blasted it, "The fact that they're being so defensive and attacking a sixteen years old girl over money and calling her a liar indicates there's probably some truth to Gabby's allegations. She wasn't even attacking the owners but her 'peers'."

Indeed, Gabby never mentioned anything about getting tormented by her coaches. "One of my teammates was like, 'Could you scrape the bar?' " she recalled. "And they were like, 'Why doesn't Gabby do it, she's our slave?' " She continued, "I definitely felt isolated. Why am I deserving this? Is it because I'm black? - those thoughts were going through my mind."

Gabby's mother, Natalie Hawkins, said on "Oprah's Next Chapter" she almost quit her dream in sport due to the constant bullying. "She said, 'I'd rather quit - if I can't move and train and get another coach, I'd rather quit the sport'," Natalie opened up. So, they moved to Iowa where Gabby started training in a new gym.

A mother of Gabby's former friend at Excalibur posted on Facebook a picture of the gold medalist with her daughter. "I don't claim to know everything that happened in the situation with the gym and and its gymnast who is now an olympic athlete, but I do know that my daughter loved her like a sister for 7 years," she wrote.

"They were often partnered during training and slept in the same room during travel meets. They attended birthday parties and sleepovers togethor (sic). My husband and I saw her mom prior to the trip to London and made a small donation to contribute to travel expenses," she concludes. "My daughter says that she was one of her best friends at the gym and was very sad when she left..."

© AceShowbiz.com




Post Your Comments

posted by black on Dec 01, 2012
Glad I'm not a yellow belly pecker wood with one tooth standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign saying will work for food...fuck all u white haters
posted by disgusttonoend on Dec 01, 2012
Wht does foodstamps and calling someone a nigger have to do with Anything, except show wht ignorance and Racism tht still exist, Nothing but puré jealousy and outright Racism white ppl hate to c a blk succeed, Always looking to beat a blk down, this world disgust me to no end, and all the Trash in it .it should truly End, white ppl cant stand blk but always trying to get tanned and look like blk, week, nasty disgusting race of existence
posted by lmao@crackers on Dec 01, 2012
I haven't seen white mother fuckers this mad since Obama's first victory. So angry because a "nigger" has taken over another sport that you thought you were the best in. Golf, tennis, gymnastics...when will you stupid ass crackers accept the fact that we will always be better than you in everything? This is the funniest shit ever!!! @jordanwasrobbed i have a riddle for you.... how does a cracker satisfy his wife? Let a nigger hit that ass!
posted by lindyfromdalou on Sep 01, 2012
to those saying hate-filled things about Gabby...Jealous Much? lol Jealousy is an ugly thing and so are u...lol
posted by pavementape on Aug 29, 2012
This pavement ape gets an 'affirmative action' win against the FLAWLESS white russian girl, now the shitskin has the audacity to cry racism against those that helped her? Typical JIGABOO Behavior. This is called the 'JIG lottery', cry racism and sue whitey for money.
posted by cglassnNC on Aug 29, 2012
Regarding the interview w/ Oprah: Look at Ms. Douglas's body language- there are clear signs she was lying about the racist issue. Her eyes shift, her voice increases and she starts to talk faster. You may have to watch the interview several times, bc Oprah's ppl have edited in a way to "trick" viewers. Trust me when I tell you that her mom was lying too. Ms. Douglas is milking her 15 mins of fame for endorsements & cash. Her USA team-mates have reportedly given her the frosty shoulder since her remarks on Oprah. Why you wonder? B/C they are afraid Gabby will say something of the same about them. Very very bad move Ms. Douglas. Hire a publicist asap.
posted by C-GlassNnc on Aug 29, 2012
Regarding the interview w/ Oprah: Look at Ms. Douglas's body language- there are clear signs she was lying about the racist issue. Her eyes shift, her voice increases and she starts to talk faster. You may have to watch the interview several times, bc Oprah's ppl have edited in a way to "trick" viewers. Trust me when I tell you that her mom was lying too. Ms. Douglas is milking her 15 mins of fame for endorsements & cash. Her USA team-mates have reportedly given her the frosty shoulder since her remarks on Oprah. Why you wonder? B/C they are afraid Gabby will say something of the same about them. Very very bad move Ms. Douglas. Hire a publicist asap.
posted by Jordanwasrobbed on Aug 28, 2012
Gabby the guerrilla and her nigger mother are full of shit trying to get money from the man because their welfare checks ran out! How do you starve a nigger? Hide his food stamps in his work boots!
posted by Chris on Aug 28, 2012
She's a little bitch looking for some quick cash, all little kids bully each other..
posted by southerngirl84 on Aug 28, 2012
This story is disgusting! Why wasn't it ever brought up before now? How dare her bring up something infront of the whole world before she took it up with the gym. Interesting they still owe money to the gym. I think this is just awful. She should be appreciative towards the coaches who helped her get to where she is.
posted by gymnasticsfan on Aug 28, 2012
There are two sides to every story.....her side, their side, and I believe somewhere in the middle - the TRUTH.
posted by eek2023 on Aug 28, 2012
Gabby didn't attack her peers or coaches. She merely spoke her truth, her experience. The coaches' overreaction is sickening!
posted by Nonie on Aug 28, 2012
Why is randy so defensive? She never bashed her coaches she talked about her "PEERS" who bullied her.

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