Louisiana State University gymnast Olivia Dunne hit back at a fan that left a derogatory comment on one of her TikTok videos.
Dunne, 20, responded to the sleazy comment, which read simply, ‘mommy’ and the heart emoji, with a video in which she says: ‘No, I’m not going to crush your skull with my thighs. Also, I’m not your mommy.’
The incident comes just weeks after Dunne came forward to address the ‘concerning’ behavior of male fans at meets and competitions. She also spoke of ‘threatening’ comments she receives online.
The college athlete and TikTok star has accrued a huge fanbase over the last year but in recent months has spoken openly about the unfortunate harassment that came with it.
In January LSU said the team had hired additional security after ‘rude’ teenage boys tried to mob Dunne at an event in Utah.
Louisiana State University gymnast Olivia Dunne, 20, hit back at a fan that left a derogatory comment on one of her TikTok videos
Dunne of LSU warms up on the uneven bars during a gymnastics meet against Auburn at Neville Arena on February 10
‘They gave us some new rules, just to keep us safe: Not to go into the stands after meets and we have a new security person that travels with us,’ Dunne said on the Today show.
The recent incident involving the fans Utah was not the first time her coaches had raised concerns about her safety. She also revealed that LSU went to the police last year ‘over an incident’, but did not share any other details.
‘As a woman, you are not responsible for how a man looks at you and objectifies you. That’s not a woman’s responsibility,’ she said.
Her overwhelming social media stardom has forced both her – and her coaches – to implement new rules and regulations around athlete safety.
‘[Social media] changes everything,’ Dunne’s LSU coach Jay Clark said. ‘It creates a false sense of accessibility and familiarity that [makes] followers feel as though there’s a personal connection.’
That was exemplified during the LSU meet in Utah.
‘So in the past, I have had some of my supporters come out to meets and watch and cheer for LSU, but that was insane. It really was,’ Olivia said of the disturbing incident.
At the time, Olivia shared a personal plea with her fans on Twitter, asking them to ‘be respectful’ of her fellow gymnasts.
‘I will always appreciate and love the support from you guys, but if you come to a meet, I want to ask you to please be respectful of the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job,’ she wrote.
Dunne’s stardom has become so intense recently that her supporters have started to wait outside meets
Dunne (pictured on January 13) has not been taking part in the team’s meets recently due to an injury
Dunne’s LSU coach Jay Clark said he wanted to make sure that fans can get autographs from the gymnasts but insisted his athlete’s safety was a priority
Clark said on Tuesday that a security officer will now travel with the team to competitions for the rest of the season.
‘That person will be in our hotel and outside our locker room and getting us to and from the bus at the venue,’ he told The Advocate/Times-Picayune. ‘[The officer] will be there to create a perimeter that keeps everybody safe.’
Clark said he wanted to make sure that fans could get autographs of the gymnasts but insisted the athlete’s safety was a priority.
‘Things have to change. We just can’t expose them,’ Clark added. ‘We’re looking at some policy changes that will give parents access at a different location to their daughters.’
Dunne is now among several female athletes joining the rank of millionaires through name, image and likeness (NIL) deals – a recent phenomenon that allows college athletes to generate separate revenue and profit from their careers.
Dunne has earned almost $2million-a-year from sponsors and photos on social media.
After years of competition, she made her elite debut at the 2014 American Classic and went on to join the U.S. national gymnastics team three years later. In 2020, she stepped away from elite gymnastics to compete at the college level at LSU.
The LSU gymnastics team is adding an extra layer of security for the rest of the season after a gang of ‘rude’ teenage boys tried to mob Dunne at an event in Utah
Dunne has earned almost $2million-a-year from sponsors and photos on social media
Her recent revenue stems from her rise as an influencer – she posts sponsored ads on her social media pages.
Some of her recent deals have been with American Eagle Outfitters and Vuori activewear.
She grew her social media following by sharing an inside look at her life as an NCAA gymnast – becoming the most-followed collegiate athlete on the web with more than 2.3 million followers on Instagram and 6.3 million on TikTok.
But she wasn’t initially allowed to make any money from her internet endeavors, due to the NCAA’s strict policy about its members selling sponsorships.
That is, until June 30, 2021, when the organization changed its rules, announcing that it would allow its athletes to earn a profit off of their name, image, and likeness.
One month later, Olivia signed with Endeavor Talent Agency’s WME Sports, and in September, she announced that she had landed a partnership with activewear brand Vuori – which Forbes reported was worth ‘mid-six figures.’
In regards to gymnastics Dunne is ‘getting back into the swing of things’ after a foot injury last year.
Although She was not competing, on Friday night at LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center her squad narrowly beat the University of Florida by 198.100 to 197.975 – Florida’s first loss of the season.
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