Sports sometimes sees odd feuds between teammates, especially in the era of social media, but Friday delivered one of the strangest yet thanks to members of the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team. One member of that team, Aly Raisman (left above), has repeatedly spoken out about the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal, criticizing the organization’s overall handling of the situation this August and revealing earlier this month that she was one of the many athletes sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. On Friday, Raisman sent out a tweet with a statement that how a woman dresses shouldn’t have any impact on if others believe claims of sexual abuse, and that kicked off a surprising fight, with former teammate Gabby Douglas (second from right above) strongly disagreeing and fellow former teammate Simone Biles (right above) blasting Douglas for her response. Here’s Raisman’s initial tweet:
We are all in this together. If we are going to create change I need all your help. pic.twitter.com/q9d12z0KHn
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) November 17, 2017
Douglas has since deleted her response, but it’s preserved in Biles’ subsequent tweet:
shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly ? & all the other women out there!
STAY STRONG pic.twitter.com/CccTzhyPcb
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 17, 2017
Douglas responded to one of her critics by saying that her tweet wasn’t meant to blame victims:
u misunderstood me. not blaming the victim at all. no man should look at any woman that way.
— Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug) November 17, 2017
But that take from Douglas still understandably stirred up a lot of controversy and criticism, including from Biles. Whether it was meant to blame victims or not, it definitely came off that way, and opining on someone’s clothing as part of a discussion of sexual abuse seems like a problematic choice. It’s remarkable to see former teammates go in on each other in public in these terms, especially with Biles’ “Shocks me that I’m seeing this but doesn’t surprise me” comment, but it’s understandable why she was upset by Douglas’ comments. Raisman hasn’t weighed in on Douglas’ tweet yet, but this whole thing definitely created a stir, and was one of the weirder teammate feuds you’ll ever see.