Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Excalibur Responds to Gabby Douglas



To say she was the only black gymnast at Excalibur would be like saying she was the only black girl on the US Track Team... It is unfortunate that Gabby's victory is already being tainted when handlers have her play up aspects of her life for her new narrative.

50 comments:

  1. Seriously. I guess Gabby :: cough her agent:: thinks we are stupid and know nothing about Excalibur, despite the fact that Gabby is far from being their first elite gymnast (and many of the ones before her have been black). The truth doesn't fit Gabby's spoonfed storyline. Even an idiot could tell you Iowa is must whiter than Virginia Beach. Gabby's story is interesting enough without the exaggerations and embellishments.

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  2. But Oprah really only wanted to talk about race and other sensitive issues (her dad) anyway, so it's not all Gabby's fault. Plus she is 16 and really has trouble coming up with words to say in an interview (even with spoonfed lines). I feel kinda bad for her because she seems, uh, way too homeschooled. And it's hard to even know what parts of her comments are the truth anymore. Ok, two posts in a row, I'm done now!

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    1. How is this not Gabby's fault? She chose to go on the show. She could have ended the interview at any time. She could have come out and told Oprah the truth

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    2. The Oprah knows how to manipulate people. She always has. Of course, she's gonna be able to manipulate the mind and words of a giddy teen with the public's eyes suddenly thrust upon her. Maybe Gabby should not have said those things, but I don't doubt for a second The Oprah's role in this. Her network is failing and she's grasping at straws to hold on to her reputation. Of course she would do what she could to make herself look good, including mindf**king a teen girl to get ratings for her TV show.

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  3. It's pretty clear she meant the only black girl in her peer group. All of those other girls were way older than her and had moved on to college before she even went elite.

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    1. It wasn't clear at all. Stop making excuses for her.

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  4. idk, I think some already thought that Gabby's medal was tainted even before this mess.

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  5. The media will ruin Gabby... she may make all the money she can but she's sold her soul to the devil. She maybe a nice girl but she's being used by her agent and was manipulated by Oprah.

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    1. Who says she is nice? Not what I have heard about her.

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  6. lol 6:26 and 6:34

    All anyone is going to remember from this a month from now is how that black girl who won the Olympics's old gym was racist towards her.

    Which is not what Gabby said nor is it the whole story (it's pretty clear as she and her mom implied that she was a favorite of the coaches and the teasing/bullying was because of that but took on a racial tone because she's black), but no one is going to care about or even remember Excalibur's name. It's certainly not going to "ruin" her or "taint" anything.

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  7. I agree Anon 7:05 am

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  8. This controversy was the best thing that ever happened to Excalibur. Otherwise, no one would know it even existed.

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    1. I knew Excalibur existed. But then again I'm an oldschool Brion fan. Wish I could find that video of Brion's double-full-in (piked). Joe Bainbridge turned me on to that video waaaay back in the days of Vanessa Atler's online diaries.

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  9. I really don't know how I feel about this topic.

    On the one hand, I don't want to disbelieve Gabby. After all, only Gabby Douglas knows if she had racist comments directed at her. Who am I - or anyone else - to say that it didn't happen?

    On the other hand, I don't like Oprah's interview style, and I think she leads interviewees into going along with her own narrative of *their own personal history*. Gabby and her mom aren't media-savvy, so of course it was easy to ask leading questions. I think a more capable interviewer could have gotten to the heart of the issue.

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    1. Yes this is exactly how I feel. It's not the story that makes me angry it's the way the story is being presented. I think Gabby was bullied and racist things were said to her. Unfortunately those things do still happen in our world

      But Oprah and now the other media is making it sound like this is all Gabby experienced at the gym. I'm surprised an Oprah voice-over didn't come on and say 'Gabby was verbally attacked with racist remarks every single second of every single minute of every single hour she was at the gym'

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    2. So agree. Also, there is so much footage that was not in the special, only posted online. I have a feeling Gabby, her publicist and family did not think that the controversial bit would be the focus of the interview.

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  10. Gabby, we love you. Please, though, let me be your agent. PLEASE. I have zero experience, but I'll let you be yourself, and I won't feed you to the sharks. I will introduce you to all my nobody friends, and you will never again have to answer any overly-simplified questions that attempt to appease the ignorant masses. That's a promise.

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    1. No one is ever going to hire you to be their agent. It's obvious you are fucking retarded.

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    2. Oh, hey there Anonymous 8:24. Check out this rad definition:

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facetious

      It may help you understand 99% of the content of this blog, as well as 99% the content of the original post. Best of luck with your critical reading skills.

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  11. I wouldn't say that her victory is "tainted" by all of these controversies surrounding her. These sideshows shouldn't take away from the actual talent and hard work that earned her those gold medals. If anything, some of these burdensome issues should enhance her triumph - for they show that she succeeded despite these obstacles.

    Poor Gabby - it's as though she didn't get the memo that you are supposed to suffer racial insults (both overt and covert) without ever mentioning them within earshot of white people or the mainstream public - lest you have your existing hurt compounded by their dismissive, deflecting responses. I imagine that it's been especially hurtful to have Marcia Newby and Morgan Evans speak out so strongly against these recollections. I'm still trying to figure out how Marcia - who probably hasn't trained at that gym on any regular basis since 2006 - was supposed to know every detail about the social experience of Gabby or any other gymnast who trained at that gym post-2006. She seems to give herself way too much credit for omniscience - but with that arrogance, she fits in well with many other (future) doctors.

    Morgan Evans is apparently working at the gym - could she have been feeling pressure to strongly refute Gabby's allegations and stick up for her employer? It seems that within the gymnastics community - there has often been a strong pressure to "close ranks" and strongly deny anything that might be harmful to the sport's (or a club's) image.

    You would have thought that a simple "I cannot exactly speak for Gabby - but that has not been my experience at Excalibur" type of statement would have been enough - but Morgan and Marcia felt the need to go the extra distance to throw Gabby under the bus. Not my favorite moment from those young ladies.

    Post Civil-Rights era racism can be very complex - and it can be virtually invisible to anyone other than the person who suffers it. And yes, it's possible that two (or more) black people can matriculate in the same environment - but have different social/racial experiences. The extent to which someone experiences racism or racial bullying can vary based on personality (for ex. - the more vulnerable you seem, the more people will be emboldened), how much you provoke others' envy or how much of a "threat" people perceive you to be, and several other social forces. And I'm sure Morgan and Marcia - being older - weren't always training with the same group of girls that Gabby was. How old was Gabby when Marcia left for college - 10?

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    1. It's nice to see some thoughtful, reasonable, and realistic replies.

      It's not up to Gabby to pander to white people's comfort and sensibilities. It's up to us to realize that this narrative she's telling is not unusual for a black girl. And that is what needs to change--not Gabby's story.

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    2. ...But fuck Oprah anyway, no?...the opportunistic twat.

      -Token Heterosexual

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    3. Thanks for the thoughtful contribution.

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    4. Ah, well, you know me: I'm here for a different perspective, just like you racial-mongering cats.

      -Token Heterosexual

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    5. Gabby's story is tainted. Her win was a joke as it was.

      Mean old white world is picking on all the black people, want some cheese with that whine?

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  12. Gabby... I mean Gabrielle is only 16 and already being spun by the media and her inability to put two coherent thoughts back to back. I can't wait to see what kind of hot-mess diva celebutante she'll be in another five to six years. She's going to make Lisa Minelli seem like a choir girl.

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  13. If "Gabrielle" wants think of herself as a victim, she needs to out the people who really are victimizing her: The media and her own mother. What a sad situation! Oprah used this young lady to forward her own agenda(s), her mother began trash-talking the day after the event, and of course, out came the race card. Is anyone really surprised? This kid is going to emulate her environment and will keep repeating she's been coached to say, and the media is going to keep believing what it's being fed. She's been spun in so many different directions she probably doesn't know which end is UP. She might have won the most coveted prize in women's gymnastics, but I'd bet that in the end, it will cost her so much more.

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    1. Gabby is not stupid. I don't think you are giving her enough credit for her part in this.

      Sure her mom is a complete fucking asswipe but Gabby is just like her.

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  14. I have two girls who were Division I NCAA gymnasts..in their J.O. club days they were in gyms at Reg 3, 8 & 5 due to father's job changes. At each gym there were always favorites either due to kids talents, parents forking over extra money to coaches, or giving them favors. I also had parents verbally threaten my one daughter as young as 9 years old to cut her feet off..purposely trying to intmidate her..it goes on..were we black, no..we just found it is a tough, competitive sport that has kids, parents, coaches and owners that don't always play respectively..no matter what the age of the kid is..or race..this is not to discount Gabby Douglas's experience. Who can say what happened unless you were there. From my experience I don't doubt it..but I think race may have been used in a way to find a weakness not just for racism..just like my girls were 'bullied' or not treated well if their abilities 'threatened' another child's place in the 'heirarchy' at the gym..

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    1. I get this, and I agree that this was probably what the other girls were trying to do, but I guess I'm not sure why this matters. Gabby didn't call anyone a racist. She said they made racist comments, which I agree with you, that the girls probably used as a way to bully/insult her. Why is it somehow more acceptable or less reprehensible that the girls used race as a means to find a weakness. They're still racist comments, and they still have the same effect on the person on the receiving end of the comments.

      On a broader note, I think this whole issue is bringing to light the issues with racism in this day and age, the issues that simmer below the surface. Any time there are claims of racism, you typically see one of three responses: 1) the minority is just playing the race card; 2) the minority's claims about racism are exaggerated beyond what they said in order to make it easier to dispute. It's a lot easier to dispute the notion that Excalibur is a racist place with racist coaches than it is to dispute what Gabby actually said - that some girls were mean and bullied her, saying some racist comments in the process; or 3) the racist comments are seen as no big deal and misunderstood. "They didn't mean it that way!". This is not to say that every claim of racism is legit. Many are not, but it's sad that in 2012, people still can't be candid about racism that still exists in society without being accused of playing the race card.

      I have no idea whether Gabby is telling the truth, but the responses to her comments have been so predictable - down to claiming that because Marcia Newby had a good experience at Excalibur, then Gabby must have too and is clearly lying. Typical, yet the same people making these claims would never try to argue that since they're both white, Claire Boyce must have had a great experience at GAGE if Courtney McCool did.

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  15. What I don't get is why people seem to think she was talking about the gym as a whole. I don't think she ever once said it was everyone at the gym. For all we know, it was probably just a particular group of girls who were probably in the same level she was. I don't think she was particularly comfortable discussing it. Oprah seemed to pretty much force it out of her. In all her interviews, the only reason I've ever heard her give for switching gyms was the fact that she wanted different coaching. Which, if what she's saying about this bullying is true, I personally think the original reason she gave was a classy way of handling the situation instead of outright bashing Excalibur.

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    1. Exactly....there's always a few bad apples and I'm sure that's who they are referring to.

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    2. True - all it takes is one bully to make a sensitive 12-14 year old kid's life hell. Don't people remember junior high?

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  16. I gotta say, Excalibur's public airing of all this stuff is truly amazing. I do get that the Oprah comments were hurtful. But there are times when you've got to be professional and NOT go running to the media to talk about how hurt you are (by a 16 year old no less). That only validates Gabby's claims in my mind. What happened to Excalibur is by no means uncommon in the sports world.

    When I grew up skating, there was an exceptionally talented young skater at my rink, who also needed financial help to be able to train. The skating club poured probably much more money into their training than the funds that Excalibur is talking about. Years of carwashes, fundraisers, finding sponsors, etc. They then sought out extra coaching for this skater from well-known nearby coaches, and finally helped the skater permanently move to a top training center, which led to this skater becoming a very successful and popular Olympian. I don't think the home club that did all this groundwork got some sort of public shoutout during/after the Olympics either. But did anybody even think to be slighted? No! Because as a coach/club... it's not all about you. The athlete is still the one who has to put in all the grueling work. It's ok to be quietly proud of a more behind-the-scenes role. What exactly do these people want, a nobel prize for "creating" Gabby?

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    1. "The athlete is still the one who has to put in all the grueling work."

      The athlete has to put in the grueling training, but the people behind the scenes (coaches, fund raisers) put in a whole hell of a lot of work on him/her too, and SHOULD be recognized for their help.

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    2. So you don't think they should say anything when Gabby accused the gym of being a bunch of racist haters?

      I think you are a complete fucking retard and let me go to Oprah with your name and tell the world just that. Lets see you keep quiet.

      Real the facebook page. All the whiny black people want to know why the mean gym let this happen to her. The black world fell for Gabby and her mother hook, line and sinker and Excaliber is getting all the hate but you want them to shut up.

      How stupid are you.

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    3. Anon 7:36 - Recognized how? when? On the NBC broadcast during the Olympics? meh - like the tv audience wants to listen to a bunch of Academy Awards-style "I'd like to thank..." speeches. This particular athlete DID recognize the help of their hometown, but not through some kind of public media whoring, but rather by making frequent visits home to participate in local shows and clinics for the kids and generally maintaining a positive relationship with the club. Which was much more appreciated than some token mention to the press could have been, since the work was not put in so that the club could ride the kid's coattails once they hit the big time, but because they just wanted the kid to succeed. In Gabby's case this might not be possible since it sounds like some bridges were burnt way before the Olympics.

      Anon 8:36 - What, you're going to tell Oprah on me? Lol. Sit down and take your Xanax.

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  17. The mother must pay what she owes to Excaliber. Period. I read the pilotonline article where her mom thought she only had to pay IF that club got Gabby to the Olympics. What kind of example is she setting. She should be checked out by authorities like they did Theresa Guidice for getting bankruptcy right before an expected payout (USA was favored for Gold). Good for Gabby winning and now Mommy needs to get going and pay the club a settlement. Plain & simple.

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    1. If she really owed them what they claim she owes them, then they would have filed a lawsuit a long time ago. They would not have gone to the Virginia Pilot with a story only journalistically worthy of the Daily Mail. Excalibur is clearly seeking publicity.

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    2. Gabby's mother is a liar. Don't you get that?

      Nothing in life ifs free. A 5 year old knows that.

      She has the money to pay them back and anyone that had an ounce of a conscious would do just that.

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    3. ANON 753-

      They don't have millions of dollars to fight for 20 thousand. Use your brain.

      What kind of person borrows money from someone and then claims bankrupt knowing the money will be coming in a few weeks?

      Gabby's mother is trash.

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  18. I'm still waiting to hear exactly what Gabby's mother's alleged "disability" is. You know, the one that keeps her from working, but not from attending the Olympics, going on Oprah, etc.

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    1. The vanity fair article says the disability was due to a reaction to a prescription drug. I cannot understand how that would qualify for disability for three days let alone three years! Any one know more?

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    2. I can explain it. The US Government is fucked up.


      If you are black and single with 3 or 4 kids even ones that are fat and look old enough to work, FREE MONEY FOR YOU.

      They got food stamps and free medical from your tax money

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  19. Mark- not an anonymous coward(not directed at all-just some)September 5, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Glad we cleared up all that silliness about Gabby facing racism. (/sarcasm)
    *Note to bigots- You might want to not argue against bigotry having happened while outwardly being a bigot. It kinda takes away from the logical, non-bigoted arguments against bigotry having been at play. They may have a strong case. But, you make everybody on that side of the argument seem as stupid as you are. And, that's not fair.*

    We're talking about a teen, here. Teens could give a rat's furry little ass about what went on in the past, or what is currently going on outside of the world they come into contact with every day. So, past black elites? A black coach elsewhere in the gym coaching other people? What was that to Gabby? All that registered for her was what she was directly experiencing from the people that she had to deal with on a regular basis.

    If, and I don't know this to be the case, but... if she were the lone black girl in her immediate group, and she was the best among them by a significant amount, don't you think some of the others in the group would have been threatened and become defensive? Again, we're talking about teen girls here-- teen girls and possible psycho gym mom types. These *can be* two of the most vicious, cruel creatures on the face of the earth(hyperbole. But, only slightly). They find the one weakness that stands out... the place where they can be the most hurtful, and they attack like sharks.
    Are you really putting it past threatened, defensive teen girls who were simply being outclassed(safe assumption. Don't you think?) by this phenom day in and day out to have gone after her? And, is it really far fetched to think that, if she was the lone black person in the group, race would have been the avenue which they would have chosen to be as hurtful and mean as possible to their rival?

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