Gabby Douglas says that comments that have been made about her on social media have been "hurtful" and apologized if she offended anyone after she received backlash about her actions on the medal stand for not placing her hand over her heart during the national anthem after the Americans won the team competition in gymnastics.
"I tried to stay off the internet because there's just so much negativity," Douglas said. "Either it was about my hair or my hand not over my heart [on the medal podium] or I look depressed. ... It was hurtful. It was hurtful. It was. It's been kind of a lot to deal with.
"I've always said it was an honor to represent the U.S. You always do this for your country, and then, like people say, for yourself and other people."
After winning the All-Around competition at the London Games in 2012, she missed advancing to the all-around final at the Rio Games. In her last individual performance, she finished seventh in the uneven bars Sunday.
Douglas says she has also supported her teammates, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, who won gold and silver respectively in the All-Around.
"I love them," she said. "I always supported them."
"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," Douglas 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?"
– Scooby Axson