Olympic skiing sensation Lindsey Vonn took to social media on Tuesday, to share her thoughts on the backlash she received after making critical comments about President Trump last week.
Vonn made it clear in an interview with CNN that she would “absolutely not,” visit the White House if invited. She also said that she would “represent the people of the United States, not the president.”
The two-time Olympic medalist went on to imply that President Trump does not represent America well in the world. “I want to represent our country well, ” Vonn said. “I don’t think that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.”
Vonn posted a lengthy response to the criticism she receiver after making those comments, on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
As I head to France for the next races, I would like to share with you my reflections from the past few days. I've received a tremendous amount of feedback, both positive and negative, about my recent CNN interview. The point that I was trying to articulate is that all Olympic athletes represent their nation as a whole, and are not representatives of their government or any specific political figure or party. None of us work tirelessly for years on end to compete in the Olympics on behalf of Democrats or Republicans. The Olympics are a non-political event, a chance for everyone to put aside their differences and be on the same "team.". That does not mean that Olympic athletes don't have political opinions. As an American, I am extremely proud that our great nation was founded on principals and ideals where citizens can express our opinions openly. It is a privilege that some others around the world don't have. I am proud to be an American, and I want our country to continue to be a symbol of hope, compassion, inclusion and world unity. My travels around the world have recently made clear that this is no longer how people view the United States. You cannot pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV in Europe without noticing how people are questioning our direction. It seems to me that we must lead with understanding and strive for unity in our relationships throughout the world. As for myself, my recent comments opened up my eyes as to how divided we are right now. It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being "anti-Trump." We need to find a way to put aside our differences and find common ground in communicating. Is it wrong to hope for a better world? All of this is much bigger than skiing and the Olympics. I am going to take the next two months to focus on what I can do and right now that is competing for my country. In doing that, I will be hoping that we Americans can still be that "shining city on a hill."
While the response Vonn receiver for her comments may have woken her up to how “divided” we are at home, Vonn’s comments also indicate that she is just as divisive as anyone else. Vonn not only made critical comments about President Trump and his leadership, she also identified Colin Kaepernick, Arthur Ashe, and Billie Jean King, as athlete-activists whom she admires.
Needless to say, there is no conservative amongst that trio of politically outspoken athletes.
While there’s no justification for anyone to wish physical harm upon Vonn, the legitimate political backlash she received, was well-deserved.