Apparently it only takes about six seconds to alienate a community you’ve spent seven months endearing yourself to. Or at least that’s what world champion bobsledder Lolo Jones learned when she hopped on Vine a couple days ago to make a video somewhat mocking the $741.84 she earned for her season.
Jones, who has endorsements with companies like Red Bull, Asics, and McDonalds, joked that she was going to be late on rent this month because of her minuscule check, but a lot of bobsledders didn’t find her video funny. Vancouver Olympic champ Steve Holcomb, who famously won gold after nearly losing his career to a degenerative eye condition, has been the most vocal about the Lolo’s video.
“It wasn’t taken very well,” Holcomb told USA Today Tuesday. “People were really kind of insulted. You just made $741, more than most athletes in the sport. So what are you complaining about?”
“The way it came across to a lot of the athletes here was kind of snobby because she’s one of the most well-known athletes in the world and she’s making pretty good money in endorsements. To basically turn around and slap us in the face because you didn’t make any money this year in bobsledding while taking money from other athletes? She slapped pretty much every athlete in the U.S. federation in the face.”
But Lolo said she didn’t mean it as an insult, didn’t want to upset anyone, and actually did it to show the plight of underpaid athletes who don’t make enough to compete in the sport they love, adding that she hoped her video would “make people appreciate just how hard Olympians work” when speaking with E! News. And for that, a few bobsledders have now come out in support of Lolo, including Vancouver bronze medalist Elana Meyers who tweeted the below thank you. So what do you think? Fair or foul?
.@lolojones thanks for brining the issues to light! Bobsledders aren't high paid pro athletes like you see on tv
— Elana Meyers (@eamslider24) June 17, 2013
— Elana Meyers (@eamslider24) June 18, 2013