We cheered for Gabby Douglas when she helped the US Women’s gymnastics team win the gold and when she became the first African American female to win the gold in the Women’s Individual All-Around.
We managed to say “aaaww” when her father, Staff Sergeant Timothy Douglas and currently deployed in Afghanistan, surprised her at the Olympic Finals after not seeing each other for two years. We shed a tear listening to her story of huge sacrifice resulting in a huge pay-off.
We marveled at her mother’s selflessness allowing her baby girl to mover 3,000+ miles away to train for the Olympics and live with a family that welcomed her in their home lovingly.
We then went out and proudly bought our box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes with Gabby on the cover.
Gabby’s story highlights all that is good in this world – Sacrifice, hard work, selflessness, love and family. She is now America’s darling and will be enjoying the fruits of her hard labor and rightfully so.
However, there’s a dark side to this sudden thrust into fame and being the center of mainstream media’s attention. The same media that highlights Gabby’s accomplishments in London are simultaneously digging into her family’s personal and private affairs.
Just the other day, Entertainment Tonight ran story on her mom, Natalie Hawkins’ bankruptcy and receiving disability making sure to mention the parents’ pending divorce. Today, the NY Post ran a story calling Sgt Douglas a deadbeat dad citing (alleged) quotes from Gabby Douglas.
Sadly enough, I think this is just the beginning of these stories and it isn’t just Gabby feeling the sting. Several major news outlets ran a story on Ryan Lochte’s mother’s home being in foreclosure.
Neither Gabby’s nor Ryan’s families deserve this type of scrutiny nor to be picked apart…to have their private personal affairs aired out by the media. It’s unfair to all parties involved.
This is a testament to how low mainstream media has sunk. Stack ’em up to knock ’em down.
My hope is that both families manage to navigate through the darkness the bright lights of fame brings and come out on the other side, hopefully unscathed.