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LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne slams NYT for trying to shame her with 'sex sells' article over her fortune

LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, 20, is hitting back at the New York Times over a headline that attacked her growing social media profile
UPDATED NOV 11, 2022
Olivia Dunne is the most-followed college athlete in the world with more than 2.3 million fans on Instagram (@livvydunne/Instagram)
Olivia Dunne is the most-followed college athlete in the world with more than 2.3 million fans on Instagram (@livvydunne/Instagram)

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA: Olivia Dunne, an LSU gymnast, retaliated against The New York Times. The 20-year-old athlete criticized the publication in an Instagram story Wednesday, Nov 9, in which she shared a photo from the photo shoot, a day after the NYT published the article 'New Endorsements for College Athletes Resurface an Old Concern: Sex Sells,' which described Dunne's growing social media following and financial success. "Is this too much?" Wrote Dunne, tagging the NYT's Instagram handle.

NYT highlighted Dunne's earnings and added that "the new flood of money — and the way many female athletes are attaining it — troubles some who have fought for equitable treatment in women’s sports and say that it rewards traditional feminine desirability over athletic excellence.” Dunne told the publication how much she is earning in NIL deals, stating, “Seven figures. That is something I’m proud of. Especially since I’m a woman in college sports," as reported by NY Post.


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More than two million people follow Dunne on Instagram, where she routinely posts pictures of herself wearing casual clothing, swimwear, or LSU leotards. Since the NCAA changed its name, image, and likeness (NIL) rule last summer, Dunne has emerged as one of the most significant student-athletes, signing endorsement deals.


Legendary Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer went into more detail about why the tactic can be viewed as a "step back" in another section of the article. “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,” VanDerveer said, adding, “This is a step back.” 


Taking into account an athlete's performance, impact, and visibility, On3 Sports' ranking of female NIL moneymakers has junior Dunne at the top. Dunne is valued at $2.3 million by the business, which specializes in college athletics digital media, statistics, and marketing.

MEAWW recently reported, Olivia Dunne, a gymnast from Louisiana State University who earns $2 million a year through sponsors and explicit social media posts, has been criticized by Tara VanDerveer, a well-known women's basketball coach, for supporting sexism in athletics. One of the numerous female athletes who receive millions of dollars through name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals is Dunne.

Female athletes have been progressively displaying honest and flirty posts to garner millions of social media followers, which improves endorsement agreements since college athletes were allowed to participate in NIL deals. Despite Dunne's claims that it helped her land a seven-figure salary, VanDerveer, Stanford University's most successful women's collegiate basketball coach, told the New York Times that these deals are bad for female players.