Out Olympic silver medalist and actor Gus Kenworthy on Wednesday called out a racist social media trend that had people post photos reenacting the killing of George Floyd.
“Out of all of the disgusting, racist, evil sh*t I’ve seen online in the last week this is perhaps the most disheartening and hateful. Twitter please help find these people and notify their schools, their employers, their colleagues,” Kenworthy posted on his Twitter handle. When another person asked what kind of person would post such photos, Kenworthy added “the privileged white kind.”
Out of all of the disgusting, racist, evil shit I’ve seen online in the last week this is perhaps the most disheartening and hateful. Twitter please help find these people and notify their schools, their employers, their colleagues. pic.twitter.com/v9NqVz4s7r
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) June 3, 2020
Within a few hours the tweet garnered thousands of retweets and likes. Some users pointed out that three British teenagers were already arrested for enacting the killing on social media. A report in Metro quoted a spokesperson for the Northumbria Police saying that two 19 year olds and another 18 year old had been arrested over the photos.
After some of those who posed in photographs were identified, there were apologies from parents and expulsions from schools.
Kenworthy joins other LGBTQI celebrities like American talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres actors Cynthia Nixon, Matt Bomer, Wanda Skyes, Janelle Monae and Jameela Jamil who have supported the protests or made contributions to the movement.
Kenworthy, a British-American skier won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Kentworthy came out in an interview with ESPN in 2015 becoming the first “action sportstar”to come out. At the 2018 Winter Olympics Kentworthy kissed his then boyfriend TV actor Matthew Wilkas before his competition – the kiss was broadcast on live television.
“So I’m guessing all these woke and outraged Australians will now be educating themselves of what is happening in their own backyards?” posted Casey Conway, former professional rugby league footballer who came out as gay on Twitter. “Oh, and won’t be celebrating Australia Day next year?”
Casey, who is Aboriginal, followed this up with some of the responses he received. “I just got called an ‘angry angry man that should be grateful for all I have’. I guess my work here is done. As if advocating for my people will never be done until systems & structures that oppress us are dismantled. Including someone abusing power cos he was having a bad day”.
Trans sportsperson Hannah Mouncey commented on the irony of people who are otherwise indifferent to the sufferings of people supporting the Black Lives Movement on social media.
Seeing so many individuals and organisations come out as fervently anti racism when their actions past and present are so clearly pro every other sort of discrimination is a joke. Not even sure they’d know what was going on if their PR people didn’t tell them to tweet something
— Hannah Mouncey 🤾♀️ (@HannahMouncey) June 3, 2020
“The inhumane murder of George Floyd has once again reminded us of the systemic racism that continues to plague America. We know that George Floyd’s murder is not an isolated incident: from Breonna Taylor to Ahmaud Arbery to Tony McDade, to the epidemic of violence facing trans women of color, we repeatedly see how the long history of oppression of Black and Brown people in America continues to result in discrimination, injustice, police brutality, and murder. It must stop,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.