LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne defended her massive social media platform in an interview with the «Today» show on Friday, explaining that the way people perceive her content is not «a woman’s responsibility.»
Dunne, 20, has nearly 10 million followers on Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter and has garnered several Name, image and likeness (NIL) offers which she says have earned her at least seven figures.
«I’m very grateful to earn seven figures. It’s great that someone in college has the chance to do that now.»
LSU GYMNASTICS ADDS EXTRA SECURITY FOR ROAD ENCOUNTERS AFTER OLIVIA DUNNE FANS CAUSE TROUBLE
But Dunne has faced a fair amount of criticism for his content, including the legendary Stanford Women’s Basketball coach Tara VanDerveer, who told the New York Times in November that she sees the trend as a «step backwards» for female athletes.
Dunne has also faced a surge in popularity in his meetings, which recently led LSU to increase security.
«There are some people, from time to time, that come in and it’s a bit worrying,» he told the «Today» show.
«As a woman, you are not responsible for how a man looks at you and objectifies you. That is not a woman’s responsibility.»
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Head coach Jay Clark echoed that sentiment, telling the network that he doesn’t think what Dunne is doing is holding anyone back.
“If expression and self-expression is something that we value as a right in this country, then we have to be consistent when it doesn’t necessarily fit with what might be our own agenda. I don’t think it will push things back. »
Following a riot at LSU’s season opener against Utah on January 6, the university implemented certain security measures, including the presence of a security guard.
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«So in the past, some of my fans have come to games and seen and cheered on LSU, but that was crazy. It really was,» Dunne said.
«They gave us some new rules, for us athletes, just to keep us safe. No going into the stands after games and we have a new security person traveling with us.»
Clark said the university had already been discussing increased security, largely due to social media.
«I think it creates a false sense of accessibility and familiarity that fans feel like they know there’s some kind of personal connection.»