Rapper Killer Mike defends Gabby Douglas on Instagram
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has been the subject of criticism during the Rio Games for an array of topics -- ranging from not placing her hand over her heart during the national anthem to the appearance of her hair.
For a 20-year-old who has competed on an Olympic stage for her country in two different Games, the criticism seems tremendously unfair. The judgements over her appearance -- and by association, her race -- are especially troubling.
Several people have rushed to Douglas' defense on social media in recent days, including rapper Killer Mike, who posted on Instagram Monday morning with a lengthy caption accompanied by a collage of Douglas' Olympic performances.
Here's his message in its entirety (lightly edited for clarity):
I'm sorry Some blacks are ashamed of the hair that nature knew best to give us be cuz as a sun people our kinky courtly hair is our best insulator to keep our scalps and body cool. I'm sorry we don't always understand nature made us perfect just the way we are.
I'm sorry Americans don't understand that simply being their and competing for your country proves you a worthy patriot. Any one can place their hands over their hearts for a song but you sacrificed your childhood and hours of your life to compete on behalf of your country so lazy a** people can watch your sacrifice & celebrate your accomplishments. A sacrifice they would never make simply So they can say WE/The USA won a medal. Our bragging rights come Becuz athletes like yourself actually Sacrifice.
I just wanna say I'm sorry those Lame's both black and white tried to shame one of the best among us Becuz they are not able to be as great.
Lastly, Thank U Sister. Thank U for inspiring a legion of small black girls & other races and cultures to be the best human beings they can be. I am proud to watch you and know my 9yr old daughter looks up to you.
Thank U, Gabby. Thank U Champion.#BlackGirlMagic Is Real. Love and respect sister. Always.
Douglas, who has also been criticized by those who feel she hasn't done a good enough job of supporting her teammates, opened up about the situation on Sunday.
"I love them. ... I always supported them," she said (via ESPN.com).
"When I heard some of the comments, I was finally like 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, that's far from me and far from my personality at all," she said. "I've been through a lot. A lot. Sometimes I sit back and say, 'Wait. What did I do to disrespect people? What have I done to disrespect the USA?'"
"I don't get that part," she said, as she began to tear up. "I'm sorry."