|Olympic silver medalist Raven Saunders was one of the LGBTQ athletes targeted by the right-wing media.|
Along with the success of American athletes during the 2021 Olympic games came the success and high-profile visibility of various LGBTQ athletes. And unfortunately with that success came the ugly words and tweets of many in the right-wing media.
According to Media Matters
Right-wing media are attacking LGBTQ Olympians competing at the 2020 Tokyo Games, including by misgendering, deadnaming, and calling individual athletes a “fascist woketard,” “pudgy, out of shape,” and “an anti-American piece of trash.”
Media Matters also said the right-wing media especially targeted several specific athletes:
According to Outsports, there are at least 182 openly LGBTQ athletes at this year’s Olympics, “more than triple the number who participated at the 2016 Rio Games.” Several of these athletes have been subjected to right-wing media harassment, including New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, U.S. women’s soccer team player Megan Rapinoe, Canadian soccer player Quinn, and American track and field athlete Raven Saunders.
I will spotlight two of the four athletes who were the focus of the Media Matters article and give just a few examples of the ugly things said about them.
Raven Saunders:Shot-putter Raven Saunders, who won a silver medal at the 2020 Olympics, made waves for her split-dyed hair, incredible performance, and gesture on the podium to represent “all people who are oppressed.” The gesture was being probed “as a potential breach of rules banning protests on medal podiums” but was suspended when her mother Clarissa Saunders died. Saunders tweeted, “My mama was a great woman and will forever live through me.” Right-wing pundits attacked Saunders during her time at the games, zeroing in on her protest and saying it “wrecks the games.”Fox News’ Tomi Lahren attacked Saunders and other Olympians who protested at the games, saying their protests are a “attention-seeking display” and “crybaby, whiny, bratty stunts.”White nationalist sympathizer Michelle Malkin asserted that Saunders is “a sorry example of Olympic competition. You've got one job: win. If you can't cut it, find a different calling, and share your troubles with a therapist, not the world.”Breitbart’s John Nolte called Saunders a “moron” and asserted, “These woketards are such woketards; they’re just making shit up now. At least she won a Silver.”