Gabby Douglas Reminds Everyone That She's Being Patriotic by Bringing Home Gold

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

After the U.S. women’s gymnastics team won gold Tuesday, the National Anthem was played. The girls lined up and listened, but for some reason, or perhaps no reason, Gabby Douglas didn’t put her hand over her heart. Does she even care about America?

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Twitter was quickly flooded with comments from people who have never done a back flip for their country in their life, criticizing Douglas for what they saw as blatant disrespect for the U.S. of A. The National Anthem often seems confused with the Pledge of Allegiance, but either way, Douglas wasn’t committing treason. Perhaps she was just reflecting on her continued success on behalf of her homeland?

There are many interpretations to be found for Douglas’ non-act, from calling her a brat:

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To labeling it a moment of political defiance:

But eventually, Douglas went on Twitter and addressed her demanding public, saying it didn’t really mean anything, she was just thinking about all those medals she got for you:

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She writes:

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 out team accomplished today and overjoyed that we were able to bring home another gold for our country!

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Flag-wearing emoji.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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DISCUSSION

I’m continually baffled about the full-throated demand for visible patriotism. It’s possible to be very patriotic without plastering the flag over every part of your body, wearing flag pins, or arranging one’s limbs in required formation during moments of high emotion. There’s no requirement to put one’s hand over one’s heart during the anthem.

I’d even go far as to say it’s a little bit totalitarian to expect it.