Gabrielle Douglas is apologizing after her fellow Christian Olympic gymnast teammate Simone Biles spoke out against her mentioning the importance of dressing modestly in a conversation about sexual assault.
The conversation began when Alexandra Rose "Aly" Raisman, the 23-year-old Olympic gymnast who led the 2012 "Fierce Five" and 2016 "Final Five" to win gold medals, revealed that she endured sexual misconduct at the hands of former team physician Larry Nassar. While Nassar has been fired, Raisman has been conducting interviews and speaking out about the issue on social media.
On Friday, she asked people to stop victim shaming and for people to help her create change in a post on Twitter.
"Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse. What is wrong with some of you," she wrote. "..AND when a woman dresses sexy it does not give a man the right to sexually abuse her EVER. [Women] are allowed to feel sexy and comfortable in their own skin, in fact I encourage you all to wear what you feel good in."
Her teammate Douglas chimed in. In a since deleted response to Raisman, Douglas mentioned the importance of dressing modestly to avoid attracting the wrong type of attention.
"However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy," Douglas, 21, tweeted Friday. "Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd."
While the tweet has been removed, Raisman and Biles expressed disappointment in the tweet. In a reply that included Douglas' stance on dressing modestly, 20-year-old Biles said she was brought to tears when reading her teammate's response.
"Shocks me that I'm seeing this but it doesn't surprise me... honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her," Biles tweeted Friday. "I support you Aly & all the other women out there! STAY STRONG."
Instead of just taking down her initial tweet, Douglas offered a public apology and support for those who have been sexually abused.
"I didn't correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don't stand alongside my teammates," Douglas wrote. "Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you. #metoo.'"