During #Olympics I hadn't once thought of Gabby Douglas being a BLACK gymnast.. until Bob Costas just said it. You're better than that, Bob.—
Jason Colthorp (@JasonColthorp) August 03, 2012
The #NBCFail hole just keeps getting deeper and deeper.
As Americans of all races, colors, and creeds buzzed with excitement about gold medal-winning U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas’s amazing poise, artistry, and athleticism in the all-around competition on Thursday night, veteran NBC sports anchor Bob Costas rambled on about the 16-year-old athlete’s … race. She’s the fourth American woman and the first African-American gymnast to capture the title.
Some social media observers had choice words for Costas and his clumsy injection of social and political commentary:
And Bob Costas, I think ALL girls can and will be inspired by Gabby Douglas' victory- not just the black girls.—
Darius de Haas (@dariusdehaas) August 03, 2012
Thank you, Bob Costas, for celebrating how much of a "non-issue" it is that Gabby Douglas is black by making it an issue.—
Stephen Falk (@stephenfalk) August 03, 2012
Thanks, Bob Costas, for backing into that "Gabby Douglas is the first black all-around winner" statistic as awkwardly as humanly possible.—
Anna Banana (@BananaEsq) August 03, 2012
Bob Costas you did NOT just go there. I'm not even black and I idolize Gabby Douglas.—
Caroline O'Reilly (@Carol_OReilly) August 03, 2012
NBC's Bob Costas says, "Little white girls, get your own Olympian to admire. Gabby Douglas is JUST for the little black girls."—
Lefty Bollocks (@LeftyBollocks) August 03, 2012
Really Bob Costas? Gabby Douglas' win will ONLY motivate "African American girls?" Really? I think she'll motivate girls, period. Pags—
Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) August 03, 2012
And … let’s pile on more #NBCFail. Whose brilliant idea was it to run an ad featuring a monkey gymnast right after the Douglas triumph?
Like Costas, some viewers did get a bit carried away with racial hypersensitivity. When Costas referred to Douglas using her well-publicized childhood nickname — the “Flying Squirrel” — many uninformed Twitter users went ballistic:
Watching the Olympics and Bob Costas called Gabby Douglas a flying squirrel.THAT'S JUST WRONG!!!! SMH—
Aamari Adause (@A1Adause) August 03, 2012
Ummmm…. why did Costas just call Gabby Douglas the "flying squirrel"?—
Rachel (@FreeChildhood) August 03, 2012
Did Bob Costas just give gabby douglas the name "the flying squirrel" or is that already a thing? Im confused.—
L. Jackson (@WammuelRussell) August 03, 2012
Bob Costas just referred to Gabby Douglas as the “Flying Squirrel”. Not sure what to make of that.—
David Lovekamp (@D_Love) August 03, 2012
Color us unsurprised by Costas’s sanctimony or by some of the P.C. silliness that greeted Douglas’s victory.
We prefer this viewer’s take:
Gabby Douglas makes me really proud to be a vertically-challenged American.—
D'Arcy Maine (@darcymaine_espn) August 02, 2012