It’s a sad commentary about the current state of affairs that a selfie posted on social media is being interpreted as some sort of overt political statement.
Unfortunately for American Olympic bobsledder Lauren Gibbs, she learned that lesson firsthand. Gibbs was viciously attacked for posting an uplifting and encouraging message, simply because she was cordial and took a selfie with Ivanka Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The image in question has since been deleted by Gibbs, although the photo itself is still circulating online.
“We don’t have to agree on everything to get along, be civil to each other and enjoy each others company,” wrote @TeamUSA bobsledder @lagibbs84 posting a selfie of her with @IvankaTrump and @PressSec — now deleted after onslaught of hate pic.twitter.com/fo2cNIgBm3
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) February 26, 2018
The most ridiculous part of the backlash against Gibbs is the message she was trying to promote by taking a photo with Trump and Huckabee Sanders.
“It’s important to remember that we don’t have to agree on everything to get along, be civil to each other and enjoy each (other’s) company. (It’s for America.) It was a pleasure to meet you both!” Gibbs wrote under the original photo.
Instead of people actually listening to the content of Gibbs’ message, people flew off the handle for her daring to pose for a photo with two women involved in the Trump administration. It’s disgusting and a truly vile example of intolerance. The great irony, of course, is that Gibbs actually seems politically aligned with the very people ripping into her.
“I am not falling for anything … but being nasty to them would not solve the issue … and don’t get me wrong there are many issues,” Gibbs responded on Twitter. “I am capturing the full experience of my first Olympics, they are part of it … again whether I like what they stand for or not.”
Those hardly seem like the comments of a woman who endorses President Donald Trump or his policies.
Gibbs also received backlash for having the audacity to let Trump and Huckabee Sanders pose and take pictures with her silver medal. Again, Gibbs offered a diplomatic and fair response to the critics.
“I have let many people try it on!” Gibbs said on Twitter. “It’s (an) Olympic medal and most people will never know what it is like to earn one, wear one or even touch one! It is meant to be shared.”
Gibbs also called out social media users for trying to politicize her Olympics experience.
“Turning this into a Democrat vs Republican ‘thing’ isn’t the answer it’s part of the problem,” she said.
For her part, Gibbs responded to the people attacking her with a very valid point.
“Your insults just prove my point … (Just) because you don’t agree with what I said doesn’t make me wrong and just because (you) disagree doesn’t mean … there is a need for name calling,” Gibbs said.
Perhaps the most damning part of the entire story is the praise heaped upon Olympian Gus Kenworthy for attacking and insulting Ivanka Trump on social media. Respect is meant to be a two-way street. Everyone attacking Gibbs probably needs to be reminded of this.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.