Gabby Douglas sparks controversy during USA national anthem

(Photo by AP)

RIO DE JANIERO —Gabby Douglas was the center of criticism for Team USA as her posture during the playing of the national anthem drew heat from those on social media.

Douglas and her teammates had just received their gold medals in the women’s team all-around gymnastics competition when the national anthem began playing. Her teammates Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian and Laurien Hernandez all put their right hand over their heart as the anthem played, while Douglas stood in attention.

The gesture led to criticism from those on social media, prompting Douglas to respond to those tweets. “I always stand at attention out of respect for our country whenever the national anthem is played,” Douglas wrote on Twitter. “I never meant any disrespect and apologize if I offended anyone.”

Douglas went on to add how overwhelmed she was by the “Final Five’s” dominant performance in the all-around competition, as they finished eight points ahead of the silver medalist Russians.

She said is overjoyed to bring home another gold medal for Team USA.

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