Paige Spiranac defends 'badass' Olivia Dunne after LSU gymnast accused of PROMOTING sexism in sports

Just from photos and sponsors on social media, LSU student-athlete gymnast Olivia Dunne has earned a whopping $2M in a year

Paige Spiranac defends 'badass' Olivia Dunne after LSU gymnast accused of PROMOTING sexism in sports
Olivia Dunne is reportedly earning $2million-a-year through name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals ([email protected]_paige.renee, @livvydunne, and Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
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HUTCHINSON, NEW JERSEY: Former golf professional Paige Spiranac came in support of  'badass' LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne after she was criticized by a well-known women's basketball coach for promoting sexism in sports. Dunne, 20, is one of the several female athletes who joined the ranks of millionaires through name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. This has become a growing trend among female athletes since they were allowed to enter such deals last year. 

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College athletes show off their candid, bold, and flirty posts to boost their social media followers which boosts endorsement deals. Just from photos and sponsors on social media, Dunne has earned a whopping $2 million a year. However, Stanford University's Tara VanDerveer, the most successful coach in women's college basketball, did not seem to be a fan of the new trend and she expressed her displeasure on The New York Times, telling that the athlete's earnings are upholding sexism. 

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This year, Spiranac, 29, who was voted World's Sexiest Woman by Maxim magazine lashed out at the criticism, slamming others for "belittling" women's accomplishments. The golf glamour girl wrote on Twitter, "I’m so sick of women belittling accomplishments of other women because it’s done differently than they would. @livvydunne is getting hate for making 2 million a year. She’s built a successful business (at 20) all while being a student-athlete. That’s badass." Spiranac has had her share of deals with her haters in the past. She has amassed an Instagram following of 3.7 million users. 

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She previously said she felt mortified while she was on the course after a 'Karen' verbally insulted her over her outfit. The former professional player said she was left traumatized after the elder lady pointed at her at a country club as she thought Paige was wearing an inappropriate dress. She also laughed at 'fat shamers' who commented on an Instagram post of her teeing off on a golf course dressed in a pink one-piece outfit.

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In the New York Times article, Spiranac also defended her new profession, claiming that she was proud of her achievement. She also stated that she has earned more through social media than she could her ever earned on sports alone. "Seven figures," she said. "That is something I'm proud of. Especially since I'm a woman in college sports. There are no professional leagues for most women's sports after college." 

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VanDerveer, however, insisted the social media strategy was a "step back" in her criticism of Dunne. "I guess sometimes we have this swinging pendulum, where we maybe take two steps forward, and then we take a step back," she added. '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," she said according to Daily Mail. "This is a step back." 

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Head coach Tara VanDerveer of the Stanford Cardinal reacts during the third quarter against the Texas Longhornsin the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Elite 8 Round at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 27, 2022 in Spokane, Washington.
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 27: Head coach Tara VanDerveer of the Stanford Cardinal reacts during the third quarter against the Texas Longhornsin the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Elite 8 Round at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 27, 2022 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Dunne, who is a New Jersey native, started participating in gymnastics at the age of three and is now one of the top earners in collegiate sports after raking in her first million by the time she was 18. She made her elite debut at the 2014 American Classic after years of competition and three years later, she went on to join the US national gymnastics team. Dunne stepped away from elite gymnastics to compete at the college level at Louisiana State University in 2020. 

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She was the most-followed college athlete with five million combined followers across multiple platforms in August 2021. She has crossed more than 8 million followers as of now. 

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