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Gabby Douglas' Mother Slams Haters For 'Attacking' Daughter Over Bad Attitude

//gabby douglas mom slams critics harsh criticism olympics pp
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Aug. 15 2016, Published 1:38 p.m. ET

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Gabby Douglas' mother is fighting her daughter's latest battle. After the gymnast came under fire for her bad attitude at the Rio Olympics, Natalie Hawkins fired back against social media bullies.

"She's had to deal with people criticizing her hair, or people accusing her of bleaching her skin," Hawkins told Reuters. "They said she had breast enhancements, they said she wasn't smiling enough, she's unpatriotic. Then it went to not supporting your teammates. Now you're 'Crabby Gabby'."

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The mother of the three-time gold medalist added, "You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?"

Douglas was bashed over social media for sporting a sour expression throughout the games. She was also caught on camera not rooting for her teammate Simone Biles when she took home gold for women's individual all-around.

"What is up with Gabby Douglas' attitude at the Olympics? It looks like she'd rather be anywhere but Rio," a Twitter user wrote, as another added, "Gabby Douglas is just mad that everyone's attention isn't on her this year."

Douglas was also ripped for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem when her team won gold.

"I don't think respecting your country or your flag boils down to whether you put your hand over your heart or not," her mother said. "We grew up in the military community. My mom spent almost 30 years in the military, my dad's a two-time Vietnam vet. Because of that it was so insulting that they would accuse my daughter of being unpatriotic when we are so tied to the military family. When the Star Spangled Banner is played, most military members either salute or stand to attention."

Gabby Douglas
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Hawkins explained how her daughter feels like she's "being bullied" and has cried over the backlash.

"What was going through her head was, 'I'm being attacked for everything I do so I might as well not do anything. Because no matter what I do, I am being attacked,'" Hawkins explained.

The bullying seems to have affected Douglas' performance, as she finished seventh place in the uneven bars, her only individual event. She also didn't quality for the women's individual all-around, despite taking home gold at the 2012 London games.

She told reporters following yesterday's disappointing performance, "When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand up on my heart or me being very salty in the stands, they're really criticizing me, and it doesn't really feel good," she said. "It was a little bit hurtful."

Do you think the harsh criticism is to blame for her underwhelming performance this year? Tell us in the comments!



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