Don’t mess with Lolo Jones!
A recent New York Times article tried to do just that, and came off sounding like a bunch of misogynist jerks (who's to say they aren't, though?).
They compared her to Anna Kournikova and inferred that her popularity was based more on her beauty than on her talent.
Here's what the article called For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image said:
“[Jones] has played into the persistent, demeaning notion that women are worthy as athletes only if they have sex appeal.”
They then went on to point out her nude photoshoot for ESPN magazine in 2009, a sexy bondage bathing suit Outside magazine cover from 2012, her devotion to Christianity and that she is a 30-year-old virgin.
Here's what Lolo said:
"It was two days before I competed and then the fact it was from a U.S. media outlet. They should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes. Instead they just ripped me to shreds. I just thought that it was crazy because I worked six days a week, every day for four years for a 12-second race. The fact they just tore me apart, it was just heartbreaking. They didn't even do the research. Called me the Anna Kournikova of track. I have the American record. I'm the American record-holder indoors.
"Just because I don't boast about these things, I don't think I should be ripped apart by media. I laid it out there, fought hard for my country and it's just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I'm already so brokenhearted as it is."
Yeah, the article was pretty gross!
She's not the only one pissed at the coverage, though! Two other American runners are equally mad — just for a different reason.
They haven't had any kind of focus on them, despite them having done better than she did.
Here's what Dawn Harper had to say:
I feel I had a pretty good story — knee surgery two months before Olympic trials in 2008, to make the team but 0.007, not have a contract … working three jobs, living in a frat house, trying to make it work. Coming off running in someone else's shoes getting the gold medal. Uhhh, I'd say I was pretty interesting. I just felt as if I worked really hard to represent my country in the best way possible, and to come way with the gold medal, and to honestly seem as if, because their favorite didn't win all of sudden it's just like, 'Were going to push your story aside, and still gonna push this one.' That hurt. It did. It hurt my feelings. But I feel as if I showed I can deal with the pressure, I came back, and I think you kinda got to respect it a little bit now.
That's totally gotta be rough too. We don't know if we'd blame Lolo for it though!
As far as the NYT stuff goes — we're proud of you no matter what, Lolo. Regardless of what the NYT says, regardless of where you placed.
You're an incredible, hard working athlete!
[Image via AP Images.]