Extra level of scrutiny

Oh look – another medal ceremony with US participants:

The other day there was this one:

Gabby Douglas was given a lot of shit for not conforming to what the other four did.

The reaction to gold-medal winning US gymnast Gabby Douglas neglecting to place her hand on her heart during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner at the medal ceremony does not strike me as a unifying moment. Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke spoke for a certain segment of the Olympic-watching public when he said on Wednesday, “The next time Gabby Douglas stands on a podium for the national anthem, she can forget the words, disagree with them, protest them. But here’s hoping she never again ignores the weight of their meaning.”

She wasn’t ignoring anything. Sticking your hand on your chest isn’t a mandatory component of paying attention to the weight of meaning of Ceremony / Icon / Ritual X. I don’t think I’ve ever done that in my life, and I had no idea it was compulsory.

But hey. She’s a woman, and she’s black. The shot put guys are guys, and they’re white. So is Michael Phelps:

After winning Tuesday night’s 200-meter fly final of the Rio 2016 Summer Games, Michael Phelps stood atop the Olympic podium to be awarded his 20th gold medal. But as the United States national anthem played, the 31-year-old swimmer suddenly burst into laughter, causing many to wonder what was so funny.

Luckily, following his second gold of the night for the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, Phelps let everyone else in on the joke. Sports Illustrated reported that during an interview with NBC, he explained that his hometown friends had been the reason he couldn’t keep a straight face.

It was a Baltimore Orioles joke. Anyway – totally adorable, unlike that awful Gabby Douglas.

H/t Pieter

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