A U.S. Olympic bobsledder deleted a tweet depicting her posing with Ivanka Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders after critics buried her in hateful comments.
“We don’t have to agree on everything to get along, be civil to each other and enjoy each others company,” Lauren Gibbs wrote with the selfie. “#Itsforamerica it was a pleasure to meet you both!”
“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
Critics expressed rage over the picture as well as a video of Gibbs letting Ivanka and Sanders try on her silver medal. The athlete responded a few times to commenters, chiding them that insults are unnecessary.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Fellow bobsledding Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor defended Gibbs, saying they both “work hard to ensure we’re positive examples of our race, ethnicity, and gender. Choosing to spread love is never a bad thing, even if it’s explaining bobsled to a politician’s daughter. The only way to fight hated and bigotry is through love.”
.@lagibbs84 and I work hard to ensure we’re positive examples of our race, ethnicity, and gender. Choosing to spread love is never a bad thing, even if it’s explaining bobsled to a politician’s daughter. The only way to fight hated and bigotry is through love
— Elana Meyers Taylor OLY (@eamslider24) February 25, 2018
Gibbs finally deleted the photo though, saying she was “tired of reading the hate being thrown back and forth.”
I deleted (by choice) the photo because I was tired of reading the hate being thrown back and forth. Whether you hate me for posting or hate me for taking it down… you are the same… hate from either side is hate… #samesame https://t.co/nXXF5no5Yl via @BreitbartNews
— Lauren Gibbs (@lagibbs84) February 27, 2018
The first daughter and press secretary’s attendance at the Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea sparked backlash from many other critics of the Trump administration.
Team USA skier Gus Kenworthy lashed out at Ivanka on Twitter. “So proud of all these people! Everybody here has worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and have the opportunity to walk in the closing ceremony!” he tweeted. “Well . . . Everyone except Ivanka. Honestly, tf is she doing here??”
Other Team USA athletes were grateful for Ivanka’s presence, including bobsledder Nate Weber, whose kids the first daughter invited to watch the games with her.
Regardless of your politics you have to admit that it’s pretty cool when @IvankaTrump invites your kids to watch the #Olympics with her. It was an amazing experience for them. #teamusa https://t.co/4zKzMZh8JQ
— Nate Weber (@NateWeberActual) February 25, 2018