A random girl's random gymnastics ramblings.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Defection of Douglas: Part Three


Because they loved and cared for our dear Gabrielle Douglas so, so much, those wacky characters at Excalibur decided it best to sell the Douglas story to the newpapers.  As we all know, Gabby's familial situation is very relevant to our interests as gymnastics fans.  I mean, sure, Gabby had just competed her Amanar for the first time, but did you know her parents had divorced and then remarried??  SCANDAL

There have been grapes of the sour variety ever since.  One wonders if the bitterness started exactly at SCAM.  I don't remember reading any articles desperately claiming Gabby as theirs during, say, 2011 Nationals in Saint Paul.  I mean, it's weird that they only wanted to make sure everyone knew she had trained there for a period of time after she started to win.  I mean, just super bizarre. 

Again, I don't judge them for being proud of a gymnast they had A PART in developing.  But that pride seemed to pervert itself into something else.  Like, am I misunderstood, and Gabby is actually the biological child of Dena and Gustavo?

Perhaps these overwhelming possessive qualities contributed to Gabby feeling isolated in the gym.  As we all know, Gabby had the balls to go on Oprah and calmly explain that she was made to feel uncomfortable from time to time in her old gym.

OK.

There have been many different responses to this interview.  And what is more shocking than the responding vitriol seems to be the fact that they admittedly did not watch the interview.  Like, an embarrassingly large number of people have formed opinions based off of what they heard had been said.  And, wouldn't you know it, guess who had a large part on spreading those false words of what they believed had been said?

That darned Randy and Sandy Stageberg again!

Was Randy or Sandy going to let this slide?  Hell no.

Randy was up first, writing a diatribe on the Excalibur Facebook page (it has since been deleted) that Gymnewstics kindly shared with us.

This is absolutely ridiculous. I trained at Excalibur gymnastics for 8 years and I personally trained with gabby for 2 of those years.[SO GABBY WAS THERE FOR 4.5 YEARS THAT YOU WEREN'T THERE FOR]  The accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening. I watched dena and Gustavo put so much of their time and effort into gabby and the other athletes, no matter their race. Gabby was never a victim, [NEVER, NEVER EVER?] in fact many would say she was one of the favorites. I am not saying that she never felt bullied because when you are in a sport with a bunch of girls it is bond to happen. However, anything that she may have felt was never about race [I CAN'T EVEN?] and I can assure you everyone at some point has felt bullied. I never once heard her complain about girls being mean, [OH, WELL, IF YOU DIDN'T HEAR IT PERSONALLY IN THE 2 YEARS THAT YOU SHARED WITH HER, THAN IT SIMPLY MUST NOT HAVE HAPPENED!] funny how it is just now coming up. Also, not only does she owe the gym thousands of dollars [MINORS DON'T OWE MONEY] but she owes dena thousands as well. I watched dena open her home to gabby, feeding her, taking her to gym, and allowing her to stay over her house whenever gabby wanted to. You take people like dena and Gustavo, people that are selfless and put so much into helping these gymnasts reach their potential and you make them out to be evil and heartless.[SHE DIDN'T SAY SHIT ABOUT DENA AND GUSTAVO. SHE SAID SHE HAD MEAN ASS TEAMMATES. LIKE YOU] You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Unless you were there to witness these so called racial acts against gabby I suggest you take your comments elsewhere because you sound ignorant. Girls leave gyms all the time it is just part of being an athlete but there is absolutely no need to publicly bash people that have done nothing but support you [THERE IS ALSO NO NEED TO PUBLICLY BASH A TEENAGER FOR HER CHOICE TO FIND A DIFFERENT GYM] and do the best they can to help you reach your dreams. I also trained with Morgan Evans Marcia Newby  Britney Ranzy and Sheriese Clark [THE ONLY GIRL WHO COULD EVEN KIND OF BE CONSIDERED ONE OF GABBY'S CONTEMPORARIES] all of which were on the national team and are African American. I can assure you they all have nothing but great things to say about their experience at Excalibur. [WELL, IF THOSE GIRLS WEREN'T BULLIED, THEN THERE'S 100% NO CHANCE THAT GABBY COULD HAVE BEEN!]

People are latching onto Gabby's quote claiming she was the only African-American at the gym, which is pretty clearly a misstatement.  But since Gabby got it wrong, that discredits everything else she ever says.  Right?

I am fully aware that Excalibur held a viewing party for the Olympics (not unlike every other gym in the country) and had they not publicly trashed Gabby months before, I would have thought "Oh, what a nice viewing party.  They must really care."  They invited the news cameras in, yet again, to show how awesome and supportive Gabby's old teammates and coaches are.  Man, they seem like some really great people.   

It seems that Dena and Co. also held a veiwing party for their teenagers to watch what had already been previewed to be an expose of sorts regarding some shady behavior compliments of the gym.  That is the only explanation I have for each child of Excalibur having a meltdown.  After Gabby claimed that she had been bullied in the gym, her ex-teammates got online and bullied her for daring to have called them bullies.


Absolutely no way this child could have been one of the bullies.  No. Way.


Not one.  Especially not the one you just sent to her on Twitter.  And she saw it, yes!  #winning


To quote a certain 2004 Lindsay Lohan classic, "SHE DOESN'T EVEN GO HERE!"



No mean girls here folks.  Move along. 

Mean adult male coaches though?  Those we have in stock.


Again, this was on the Excalibur Facebook page.  It wasn't buried somewhere.  It was front page for people to read and discuss.

Now, this Gustavo character seems like a class act.  I suspect he was the same coach who was peddling used gym shirts for $200 because they were from Excalibur and "Abby Douglas" was also from Excalibur.


"Do you know Gabby and her mother to know certainly how much you can trust them?"

DO I NEED TO?  IT'S NOT LIKE I'M GIVING THEM MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.  DO I TRUST A 16 YEAR OLD ENOUGH TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT BEING BULLIED BY SOME MEAN BITCHES?  YES, YES I DO.

"Is Gabrielle credible just because she is an Olympic Champion?"

ARE YOU CREDIBLE JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE BUTTHURT AS SHIT THAT YOUR KIDS WERE CALLED OUT FOR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR?

"She's not giving any names or dates, leading us to believe the accusation is fake."

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT ALL BULLYING CLAIMS NEED TO BE TRUE- SOURCES!

Not that this needs to be said, but I'll say it anyway: the issue is a teenager coming out about bullying among her peers.  It's not a motherfucking medical journal.  It doesn't need sources to be true.     

So, instead of using this as an opportunity round up the kids and teach a lesson about racism and bullying, or even perceived racism or bullying, Excalibur instead got the kids together and told them they should all freak the fuck out.

Now, again, I'm not a parent.  I haven't coached in years.  But as a relatively normal human being, I feel that, had I been in this position, I would have told that kids not to take it personally, as no names were named, but maybe use this as a chance to make sure you are acting with kind words towards everyone.  Maybe it's not you, maybe you see someone being a mean horrid bitch to another little girl.  See something, say something.  It would also be a great time to explain that you can't always believe what you see on TV.  Explain that, while Gabby means every word she says, anyone who goes on TV is at the mercy of producers and editors, and as such, make sure that you give Gabby the benefit of the doubt before having any sort of irrational teenage blowup.

Clearly, Dena and Gustavo do not share my ways.

Instead, we get this:


If I understand correctly, Gustavo is allowed to "abuse innocent children," but Oprah and Gabby are not.  Also, changing the "image from a person using the good name of good people and innocent children will not work," unless you are old coaches trying to do so to Gabby.  In which case, go right ahead. 

Also, let's point out that Gustavo seems to think that any person  who might have a picture of a black woman in her profile picture and posts on Facebook is obviously Gabby's mom.

This is not mine, but The Single Father's Blog sums it up perfectly:

"So basically, what she is saying is that as long as the little black girl still owes a debt to the owners of the gym, she should keep her mouth closed until that debt is paid.  She shouldn’t be allowed to speak out publicly about an issue that has long lasting effects like low self esteem, youth violence, poor academic performance, and many times suicide.  I TOTALLY get it now. *slaps self on forehead*  When someone gets bullied it’s their own fault and not the fault of the people who are doing the bullying, and the person that is being bullied shouldn’t speak out publicly about the humiliation they received. Oh, and how could I forget about the statute of limitations that is placed on being bullied.  You’re not allowed to speak out about it once you win a gold medal and have the nation’s attention, because that would just be too much like the right thing to do with the platform that God has given you…Silly me!"

There have to be at least one billion reasons why a young teenage girl isn't comfortable enough to come forward about bullying.  Anyone who has been in a gym, or at least seen an episode of Dance Moms, can attest to the fact that gyms are catty places in general.  When you add in the fact that your coach is BFFs with the previous gym star's mother, it's not hard to see why Gabby might not have been comfortable stepping forward with these allegations. 

Like Randy Stageberg, Dena Walker also seems to believe that if she didn't personally see or hear it, then there's 100% absolutely NO CHANCE it could have happened.  Now, unlike Randy, Dena doesn't pretend that she is all knowing, and that she can be everywhere at once.  She just KNOWS  that had Gabby actually been spoken to in a degrading way, that she would have marched into Dena's office immediately and shared everything.

I hate linking to TMZ, because I hate them, so I'll let you google the interview for yourselves.  And good luck to you, because the video is 40 minutes long, and they won't let you skip through it.  Lucky for you, I transcribed the good parts.  And by good I mean laughably awful.


TMZ: So, she is saying that there were racial remarks hurled at her.  Is it possible that from time to time that somebody said things that just went under your radar?

SCREAMIN' DENA: I have never heard anything like that.  If ANYTHING at ALL would have been said, she would have been in our office in a second.  And that never happened in six and a half years.

TMZ: Dena, have you tried to get in touch with Gabby since these remarks were made?

SCREAMIN' DENAThe telephone number, the cell number I had for her was no longer existed (sic) because I had tried maybe a couple of months ago.  I spoke to her coach Chow on the phone about a week ago, and I let him know that there was a lot of people trying to do things for her, and give her things, and I just needed some kind of a contact.  And he said he had absolutely no control over the situation.  That was his comment to me.  


Again, what is there to say that hasn't been made blatantly obvious?  Dena wants to bypass Sheryl Shade and all the other typical points of contact, even after all the garbage she has been spewing about Gabby for months, so that people can DO THINGS FOR HER and GIVE HER THINGS.  I am simply shocked that Chow did not fall for that.  

The lesson here is that it is not 16 year old Gabby's fault that Excalibur's reputation has been besmirched.  They did that all on their own.  They did so by publicly trashing a teenager they claimed to care about and support.  They did so by claiming every ounce of her talent as their own, and took offense to anyone assuming otherwise.  They did so calling the teenager they care so much about a LIAR when she dared to open up about their bullying.  They did so by continuing to bully her because she called them out on their behavior.    The did so allowing and encouraging their adult members to gang up against a teenager.  They did so by explaining to children that it's not OK to talk about inappropriate behavior, and unless you mention it immediately and provide names, dates, and quotes, you are a LIAR.  They did so by reminding us that it doesn't matter how hard you work, or how much you overcome- there will always be an army of angry, bitter people who will stop at nothing to bring you down because they simply cannot handle seeing you on top.  

Excalibur's going to have to try a whole lot harder to bring Gabby down.  If there is one thing you CAN blame Gabby's family for, it's for instilling her with class and poise.  And that kind of dignity is something no coach can ever steal away from her.   


57 comments:

  1. The biggest thing for me is that this sets the WORST FUCKING PRECEDENT FOR BULLYING VICTIMS OF ALL TIME. A sixteen year old girl has just said: "I experienced bullying, and it was hurtful" and her name is being dragged through the mud, people are accusing her of lying, etc, etc.

    If I had been bullied, and I looked up to Gabby Douglas as a young kid, I would watch this happen to her and think: "If no one believes her, why would anyone believe me?"

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  2. I can't even put into words how perfectly you summed up and presented this whole thing. Bravo, Spanny.

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  3. This whole situation is so aggravating. All these people are just bashing Gabby and hating her without even thinking that she is a sensitive 16 year old girl. I am happy that she has such a wonderful family that supports her. And if Ms. Hawkins claims she reported bullying, then you best be darned, I believe here. Excalibur sure just killed off a bunch of customers.

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  4. Why is Excalibur guilty until proven innocent and Gabby is 100% truthful? I don't get it. There are three sides to every story; he said, she said and the truth.

    Excalibur has sensationalized, lied, defended themselves and told the truth about what happened

    Gabby has sensationalized, lied, defended herself and told the truth about what happened

    We'll never know the whole story, the whole truth. What both parties need to do is start showing a little class.

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    1. And how is Gabby and her family not being classy? I could list a million ways Excalibur is being unclassy.

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    2. They saw the reaction after the Oprah interview. Why the need to continue? Why another interview about more bullying? I'm in no way discounting what Gabby experienced but wonder why they feel the need to linger on it. I keep seeing that Excalibur is whining and complaining by bringing this up, isn't Gabby also?

      Wouldn't the biggest F you to the gym she hated be the fact that she is the Olympic AA Champ and she wont continue to talk about her ex-gym?

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    3. What is the old proverb? Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.

      What I see that makes me uncomfortable is this gym essentially denying this girl the right to her own experience. How Gabby perceives what happened to her, makes it real *for* her and they could at least acknowledge that, if nothing else.

      Their unequivocal assertion that none of what Gabby said could possibly be true or have happened is a bit extreme and strains credibility.

      Having said that, the gym has their own perception and experience of what happened and it should be given equal consideration. That is to say, I don't necessarily think believing Gabby and believing the gym are mutually exclusive.

      I can believe that Gabby had those experiences, but I can also believe that the gym was not informed of each incident and therefore, not fully of aware of the depth of her unhappiness of the extent of the issue with her peers.

      I can believe that Gabby felt isolated but believe the gym when they say that was more a function of her having favored nation status at the gym (because of her talent) and not a conscious effort on their part to separate her for other nefarious reasons.

      I could go on, but you get the point. And finally, I will say I wholeheartedly agree with your last point.

      It's time for both parties to practice a little restraint. Sometimes *doing* right, is more important than *being* right.

      And I think if the family has not done so, they need to hire a PR person to keep them out of the weeds about this stuff. It's an unnecessary distraction from what should be the triumph of her Olympic win(s).

      The person that will be hurt most by this prolonged battle will be Gabby. Right or wrong, good or bad, like it or not, the one thing that will make endorsements deal dry up fast is controversy.

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  5. Honestly I did not think bad of Excalibur after the Oprah interview. When I read that article in like March I thought "Why the fuck are they speaking to a newspaper about this" then moved on. But their response has made me angry beyond belief. The more they try to prove themselves, the more they look like liars.

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    1. Agreed. I originally though there were some mean girls in the gym who bullied Gabby under the coaches' radars. This, unfortunately, happens everywhere. Then all the other information from the gym came out.

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  6. LOLOLOLOL GUSTAVO'S POST!!! I CAN'T EVEN BREATHE. "sweat innocent girls." SWEAT. HAHAHA

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    1. Yes, let's make fun of people who speak with an accent or mess up their spelling/grammar because English is not their first language. How many other languages do you speak fluently. I hope everyone who is so keen to defend Gabby by hating everyone who disagrees with her realizes they're just the same as all the bullies they're speaking out against.

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    2. Gustavo, is that you?

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    3. Haha.. I guess its him

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    4. Actually I can speak 3 languages fluently. Sorry to disappoint you there :)

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  7. I understand you coming to Gabby's defense, but why are you so viciously trashing Randy Stageberg? Randy never said that because she didn't hear it, there was no chance it happened. Both Randy and Marcia Newby said they weren't saying that Gabby never experienced bullying but that they had never witnessed anything like that themselves. They never called Gabby a liar on that point. They only made statements implying the gym itself did not foster that type of environment. Please stop attacking Randy. She may not be 16, but she's also a young woman with feelings. You sound a lot more vicious than the bullies Gabby was talking about and it damages the credibility of your posts.

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    1. Why was Randy viciously trashing a 16 year old kid? is the real question here.

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    2. You are ranting about Gabby being bullied, all the while trashing other people. Its not classy, and it certainly detracts from your point, Spanny. You sound like someone who can't see past her Gabby-shaped glasses, rather than someone making sound arguments. Some of your statements in these three posts have been downright confusing. I know you admitted at first that you were finding it hard not to look at this without bias given you are a Gabby fan, but you didn't succeed at making it seem like you came at this with any sort of rationality. :\

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    3. She's not trashing anyone. All spanny is doing is looking at the facts. I think you have the word "trashing" mixed up with clarifying. She has posts of what Excalibur coaches have said. If Excalibur has handled this with dignity and maturity from the beginning, this wouldn't even be a big deal. They made themselves look bad by publicly calling out a 16 year old girl. Gabby doesn't owe money, maybe her mom does, but I'm sure gabbys mom is not the only one in the gym who owes money. If gabby wasn't Olympic champion this wouldn't be happening. I guess no good deed goes unpunished

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  8. "They never called Gabby a liar on that point."

    Randy certainly did. Check the first part of my series, and you'll see photo proof that thinks Gabby is a "little liar."

    Maybe someone can tell me why the Stagebergs are so invested in the lives of Gabby and her mother. Is it because Sandy is BFFs with Dena?

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    1. I stand possibly corrected. I was referring to Randy's original statement for Excalibur in which she did not deny Gabby had been bullied. But it looks like she has indeed called Gabby a "rich little liar" in the part you posted. To be fair though, she still doesn't say that Gabby is a "little liar" in regards to the bullying claims. It's possible she was referring to the only African-American comment.

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  9. This was great. I'm so pleased you undertook this Spanny. Excalibur definitely tarnished its own reputation, and it certainly wasn't due to Gabby but their own horrifically childish behavior. After witnessing the behavior of these supposed adults, I have no problems believing Gabby (not that I ever doubted her). Children learn from the adults around them right? And when the adults are bullies, well....

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  10. MORE MORE MORE!!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!! These people are disgusting and needs to be exposed!! Excalibur wants attention, so keep giving it to them!

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  11. I love Gustavo's comment about: "Since she hasn't been able to provide any names/dates of bullying.. OBVIOUSLY her accusation is false!!" ... because if she had, in fact, made a list by list recollection of where she was bullied, who did the bullying, and when, he would have been up in arms crying: "HOW CRASS! HOW INCONSIDERATE! HOW RUDE!"

    With Excalibur, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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    1. This is what kills me - like, do they actually want her to release names of the bullies?! That is tacky as hell. Gabby has too much class to behave like that, lord.

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    2. I'm not sure "classy" is the word to describe it.
      Almost universally, the advice given to kids on dealing with bullies is "tell an adult". Is there any evidence that Gabby told anyone about this? Her mom? Her coaches? Her host family?

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    3. @Anon 10:02--what a gross fucking comment. Were you ever a 13-14 yo? When you suffered shit did you always Tell An Adult? When you told your parents, how could there be EVIDENCE? You sound like an Excal apologist.

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  12. Also.. how he signs off his letter with Gustavo E Moure (Hispanic Immigrant) is just LOL.. it reminds me of how some people purposely go out of their way to show how *diverse* and *open-minded* and *color blind* they are in fear that they'll be seen as anything but. It's usually these sorts of people who have the worst bias.

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  13. The same five people keep liking all these FB posts it seems.

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  14. @spanny, kindly read
    @p_ohoulihan 's tweet from the Olympics..

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    1. The Vanity fair interview was conducted in London.

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  15. Spanny - Spot on and well written as usual.

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  16. Go, Spanny. This entire situation has aggravated the hell out of me from day one. Yes, I believe Gabby was bullied by certain young gymnasts who are KIDS. And kids do bully. As for Excalibur, when in a hole-STOP DIGGING.

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  17. I'm not really sure on this whole issue. Every article I read is so one sided. I don't like how some people are saying 'bullying happens to everyone' so we should just brush it under the carpet. If Gabby was bullied then it must have made her feel terrible. The problem is how do we know Gabby wasn't nasty to the girl first? What if Gabby called girls names? Teenage girls can be very catty. We really do not know the truth here.
    And if Excalibur did everything they claim to have done then I think they have every right to be upset. Although it is wrong of them to call Gabby a liar as bullying and name calling amongst kids nearly always happens away from the adults. I feel sorry for Excalibur and Gabby here.

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    1. I don't care! It's obvious Gabby was NOT nasty first. Gabby did NOT conduct an entire interview after SCAM Cup blasting her gym, It was the gym that did a scathing interview blasting her and her FAMILY!!! If that isn't bullying, I don't know what the hell is!! I love how people hit and hit and hit and when you finally swing back, you're classless. No wonder she left that hell hole! And I ROTFLMAO when they said, we are trying to get in contact with her to, um, give her stuff, yea that's it. To me, that's akin to a wife beater saying "come back home, honey. I have some flowers I want to give you." or to a child's kidnapper saying "Come here, little girl, I just want to give you a candy bar and take you for a ride you little ungrateful brat." BULL. FUCKING. SHIT.

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  18. Honestly I feel like almost every girl in gymnastics was picked on or bullied at some point as a kid. It just seems to be the nature of the sport for whatever reason. I know it happened to me at my little gym (nothing big, just normal kid gymnastics & normal kid bullying/exclusion type stuff). For people to act like bullying never happened undercuts any credibility they have.

    Also they clearly need some kind of social media professional to take facebook away from them because they are not classy.

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  19. Bullies target someone they know won't talk about it, that's how they get away with it. So some people are surprised to know that their BEST friend was bullied (or feels bullied), Gabby's mom didn't know about these incidents so it's no surprise her former coaches didn't either. But for her former coaches to go and lash out about this is an immature act. Gabby said it's her teammates that bullied her and not her coaches, her coaches should have acknowledge the fact that maybe it did happen and they just didn't know about it, they don't know EVERYTHING that's going on in and out of their gym (it happens in schools too, teachers and principals don't always know whose being bullied).
    Instead of acting like a TEENAGERS the coaches should have talked to their students about bullying and told them that they can and should talk to someone if they feel like they're being bullied.

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  20. Spanny, I have a hard time giving your posts on this topic any credibility because your behavior is just as vicious and unclassy as everyone at Excalibur. The only difference is you're on Gabby's side. This whole situation, in my opinion, is stupid and I think EVERYONE involved is acting childish. This could have been handled much more maturely by all parties involved, and those who are not involved but taking sides anyway need to put their noses back in their own business.

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  21. Gabby opened herself up to criticism the moment she followed her Olympic dream. There is no ganging up any 16 year old when she chooses a path that puts her in the public eye. Good or bad, international figures will be commented on by others (including you). I remember hearing about Dominique M's bad behavior and everyone slammed Shawn for gaining weight, going on DWTS, similarity to Chuck E. Cheese. Nastia's poor clothing choices and Paul Hamm dui. I found your blog looking for dirt on gymnastics back in 2010 for pete's sake. There you were, Nastia basher. And I loved it. We expect Olympians to have a hard scrabble to the gold story. But we all will gobble up their tabloid follies. Team Gabby could have avoided a lot of controversy by writing a big IOU to Excalibur and kept that nonsense behind closed doors. Your gold medal glory lasts longer without the tackiness. (Except for Michael Phelps, who redeemed his bong hitting ways big time.) Btw, there is no comparing some local newspaper to Oprah. The gym could have complained to the Washington Post and 99.99% of the people who watch Oprah would have no clue about this garbage. The bully is the one with the power, not the kid that pokes someone first.

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    1. Write them a big IOU WITH WHAT??? Like the Douglas family just has $20,000 just laying around. Who do you think they were, Aly Raisman??? All Gabby was making from USAG was a $2,000 stipend, PERIOD!! So, Gabby should just hand over her only monies to some huge gym for 10 months AFTER they went to the press to slander her and her family? Are you fucking NUTS?? To hell with eating and her expenses?? It is NOT Gabby's fault that Oprah sought out an interview with the REIGNING OLYMPIC ALL AROUND CHAMPION!! They drug her and her families name through the mud several months before that even came into fruition, and I've never heard Gabby reply about it. NOT ONCE!! Now all of a fucking sudden you blame Gabby for speaking out on being bullied because she is now on a bigger platform?? You and Excalibully are a bunch of jealous, hateful spiteful BITCHES!!!

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    2. Um, iou means you pay eventually. We all pay a truckload for our kids to do gymnast. And most of us are not the Raismans. Far from it. I just think I would have said, or have USAG or whatever, tell excalibur to chill out and the bill will be paid in August. Whatever. Its like the Caquattos, Bross, Maroney have switched gyms without all the drama. It is the out of the norm to have the dirty laundry aired for the world to see

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    3. Pay them back in august? Again, I ask.. pay them back in august WITH WHAT??? There was no guarantee Gabby was going to make the Olympic team much less win the damn thing! And you're still avoiding the fact of WHO started the public drama and it was 100% NOT Gabby. She never made a public statement about it until Oprah ASKED her about it! I have NEVER seen a gym put out a scathing article about one of their gymnasts after they left. Ever, ever EVER!! That is the height of disgusting, and for you to stick up for them makes my flesh crawl. And it's amazing out of that entire interview with Gabby, everyone is up in arms about her speaking about bullying like that's a foreign concept to you people! Her host family obviously had good intentions for her and the Douglas' are forever indebted. I'm sure they have forged a bond that will last a lifetime, but what if they decide, you know what? Now you better retroactively pay me for all the meals, all the utility bills, the mortgage, gas, mileage etc... You have to be a FOOL to think Excalibur didn't know that Gabby and her family were flat BROKE! DUH!! They knew that! SO SCREW AN IOU! That gym couldn't possibly be that hard up for money. If they didn't want to coach her per gratis, they shouldn't have. They aren't the only gym in the world! Hell, Chow took her in with out a problem because he is a class act. Excalibur could have maintained a good rapport with Gabby if they wanted to, but it's obvious with that article they had no intention of doing that. I don't even think they wanted the alleged money, what they wanted to do was drag Gabby and her family out in the public square, put their private and personal business out in the street, turn gym fans against her, make them look like a gang of thieving little black folks and grifters and humiliate and harass her for DARING to escape that toxic hell hole! Now they're eating sour grapes. Well that's too damn bad.

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    4. Word to this! The person sitting on millions is not the person without the power. I used to like this blog because it was funny and smart, but these posts have been badly-reasoned over-emotional defensive drivel.

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    5. Badly-reasoned over-emotional defensive drivel? No sloppy, I think that's definitely your sloppy post. Perfect name for you btw.

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    6. Bahahah "Anonymous." My name's not Sloppy. Learn to read.

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    7. I kind of thought I was just being nice by not mentioning your inability to spell :/

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  22. Spanny, I love your blog and I love your humour, even when you do get slightly bitchy, but these three posts on the Gabby situation have really just crossed the line for me. This article does not present a well thought out argument based on facts. Rather, it takes things people have said and twists them far out of proportion in order to meet your own point of view and belittle the other person’s. You’re not just disagreeing, you’re effectively telling the other person (side?) that they are stupid and should shut up. That’s *exactly* what a bully does, and exactly what you say you don’t like.

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  23. Preach it, Spanny.

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  24. lol looks like The Excalibur idiots are here and they're mad. Well, they can stay mad. You've emerged looking like tasteless, classless, unfortunate souls, because of you, nobody else.

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  25. I've followed this story for awhile. And honestly Excalibur fired the first shot back in March in that article where they laid out her family's business. Rather low if you ask me. Then they got all butthurt over the Oprah interview. Granted, this WAS Oprah laying a racial spin on it, and Gabby really isn't very media savvy at all. But their reaction was over the top to me. I don't have a clue who Stageborg(?) is, but sheesh! She needs to put a sock in it and STFU because everytime she opens her mouth she just steps in it.

    That said, it would be a good thing if Gabby never ever says anything again about Excalibur, they don't deserve any attention. And if they're so hard up for the unpaid fees? They need to get an attorney and sue, Gabby's parents.

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  26. You know what this reminds me of? When a few gymnastics bloggers decided to take it upon themselves to attempt to publicly berate and bully a sixteen-year-old girl when a few seconds of her on-camera behavior didn't fit what they thought of as "appropriate."

    This is a surprisingly great series of posts, and I applaud its rationality. I just wish you would use your powers of deduction on more than one nationality of gymnast, and that you would practice what you preach by, as an adult, not bullying children. Unfortunately, you have already proven that you are willing to do so when the situation suits you.

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  27. Spanny, you are an idiot. This is not any kind of analysis. This is taking Gabby's side. You are free to do that, but don't pretend to be neutral while doing so. The thing you don't mention, is that Gabby said that she was the only black gymnast at Excalibur. That was clearly not true. Why don't you call her out for being a liar?

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  28. Hey Fresno- point out the one time I have ever pretended to be neutral regarding Dougie. Seriously. Find the one time.

    Gabrielle has apologized to those who matter regarding the "only black gymnast" comment. You are clearly not on that list. My apologies.

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  29. If Gabby makes it to Rio, will she finally pay her bills? (Given her sketchy payment history LMAO)

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