Gabby Douglas Bullied: Mom Comes To Olympian's Defense

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Gabby Douglas went from America's Sweetheart to persona non grata after some were offended she didn't put her hand over her heart while the National Anthem played at gymnastics medal ceremony.

Gabby Douglas Rio Olympics Pic

The Olympian's mom Natalie Hawkins, is sick of the bullying, and spoke to Reuters about the hell Douglas, 20, is being put through.

"She's had to deal with people criticizing her hair, or people accusing her of bleaching her skin. They said she had breast enhancements, they said she wasn't smiling enough, she's unpatriotic.

"Then it went to not supporting your team mates. Now you're 'Crabby Gabby'," Hawkins said.

Last week during the medal ceremony for the all-around finals, Douglas stood to attention wile the National Anthem played rather than put her hand over her heart.  

"I don't think respecting your country or your flag boils down to whether you put your hand over your heart or not," Hawkins said. "When the Star Spangled Banner is played, most military members either salute or stand to attention."

"We grew up in the military community. My mom spent almost 30 years in the military, my dad's a two-time Vietnam vet. Because of that it was so insulting that they would accuse my daughter of being unpatriotic when we are so tied to the military family."

Hawkins can't understand why Douglas is being dragged through the mud.

"You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?"

The stress from being constantly criticized is getting to Douglas, according to her mother.

"What was going through her head was 'I'm being attacked for everything I do so I might as well not do anything. Because no matter what I do, I am being attacked.'"

The bullying has gotten to Douglas, who hasn't done as well during these Olympic games aside from winning gold with her teammates.

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