New York Times writer is under fire after an article critizing gymnast Livvy Dunne

Gymnast+Olivia+Dunnes+profile+on+TikTok%2C+where+she+has+over+6+million+followers

Photo courtesy of Ava Highland

Gymnast Olivia Dunne’s profile on TikTok, where she has over 6 million followers

The New York Times newspaper has always been a serious publication. Because of their pristine reputation, it was surprising to read an article claiming that college athletics are causing women’s sports to regress due to their “sexualization” on social media platforms.

The writer, Kurt Streeter, who is usually an advocate for women’s sports, bashes an All-American college gymnast, Olivia Dunne, who has been in love with competing in gymnastics since she was only three years old. Olivia is currently competing for Louisiana State University on a full-ride scholarship. Throughout the past years, she has developed a large following on social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram because of the explosive popularity of her videos like practicing or competing in gymnastic competitions. Just like any other girl her age, she also posts normal content outside of her sport.

Streeters’ article’s main focus point was how college athletes are posting more “sexy” photos to try to attain more popularity or make more money. Even though the title of the article says how building their brand is regressive for women’s sports, Streeter fails to mention how it actually is affecting the overall community.

The N.I.L. (name, image, likeness) law, asserts that college athletes can make a profit off of themselves. It was passed in 2021 and is important to state since Dunne already had a huge following years before this. Ever since this law was applied, Dunne did not change any of her content to come off as more sexy or appealing.

One person who Streeter interviewed for his article was Stanford’s college basketball coach, Tara VanDerveer, who views the part of the N.I.L. revolution that focuses on image as regressive for any female athlete.

“I guess sometimes we have this swinging pendulum, where we maybe take two steps forward, and then we take a step back. We’re fighting for all the opportunities to compete, to play, to have resources, to have facilities, to have coaches, and all the things that go with Olympic-caliber athletics…This is a step back,” VanDerveer tells the New York Times.

It is hypocritical for VanDerveer to speak on this topic since girls on her basketball team post very similar photos on Instagram. The only thing this article is doing is pinning others against each other and creating problems that never truly existed.