Olivia Dunne asks fans to 'be respectful' towards other LSU gymnasts after scary scenes emerge at arena
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH: Olivia Dunne has asked fans to "be respectful" to fellow competitors after a scary scene emerged during LSU season-opening at Utah arena. Dunne, a 20-year-old gymnast, received overwhelming support from the fans at the Jon M Huntsman Center on Friday, January 6, even though she was not competing that day. The fans held up signs for Dunne in spite of her not being in the line-up. One fan even bought a cardboard cut-out of her.
The LSU gymnast — who is regarded as one of the most influential college athletes — tweeted about the incident on Sunday, January 8, and wrote, “I will always appreciate and love the support from you guys, but if you come to a meet, I want to ask you to please be respectful of the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job.”
I will always appreciate and love the support from you guys, but if you come to a meet, I want to ask you to please be respectful of the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job:heart:— Olivia Dunne (@livvydunne) January 8, 2023
Several videos have surfaced online where fans can repeatedly be seen chanting “we want Livvy” over the other gymnasts throughout the night despite the fact that she was not competing.
I'm guessing she's talking about this. pic.twitter.com/1PKNFtMZn1— Thomas j. Stargell (@T_star94) January 8, 2023
Following the meet, a large group of fans, mostly male, gathered outside the Huntsman Center and waited for Dunne. The fans were reportedly “saying rude things and swearing.” The fans' unruly behavior only heightened after police told them that Dunne would not be coming out to greet them. Dunne, however, did greet her fans at the arena.
This is actually so scary and disturbing and cringey. I’m embarrassed for them… pic.twitter.com/h23bBdBQ9B— Samantha Peszek (@samanthapeszek) January 8, 2023
Utah's gymnast Jillian Hoffman‘s mother, Jennifer, also shared her experience on Facebook saying, "I am a mother of a Utah gymnast, as we were walking to the car the group swarmed my daughter and her teammate. They literally said to their faces, you are not Livvy but you will do, can we get a picture. They also called my daughter Livvy 2.0. They were so rude and disrespectful. It was very hard for mama bear not to come out." "Jillian and her teammate were approached by a large group of teenage boys, disappointed that Dunne had already left the arena and they wouldn’t be getting the photos of their dreams. They did not know the girls names. They just wanted photos with gymnasts and were disrespectful in the things they were saying. End of story!" she added. Jillian Hoffman's mother also confirmed that they were not harassed, assaulted or harmed in any way.
Josh Furlong of KSL.com Sports, took to Twitter to describe how “LSU had to move its team bus so they didn’t have to run into the group of boys. There were cops stationed in front to avoid them getting in.” In an earlier tweet, Furlong had said, “There’s literally a line outside of the Huntsman Center of teenage boys that keep asking if Livvy is coming out. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
There’s literally a line outside of the Huntsman Center of teenage boys that keep asking if Livvy is coming out. I’ve never seen anything like this.— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) January 7, 2023
Dunne, 20, is one of the biggest names in collegiate athletics with 6.6 million followers on TikTok and 2.7 million followers on Instagram. She ranks at the top of On3 Sports’ list of female NIL moneymakers with an estimated valuation of more than $2.5 million.