There was outrage when a star of “China propaganda” was given an ESPY.
Commentators were furious after a Chinese Olympic champion won one of the most prestigious sports awards in the United States.
After winning an award at the ESPYS, Eileen Gu caused another social media storm.
The 18-year-old sensation won three medals for the host country at the 2022 Winter Olympics, making her the biggest star of the games.
Some people thought she had betrayed the United States by switching her allegiance to China before the Games. This made her two gold medals and one silver medal look bad.
Some parts of the American media called Gu a traitor, and his presence at the 2022 ESPYS at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles was too much for some people to handle.
When Gu’s name was called during the announcement of the best breakthrough athlete, she was so happy that she couldn’t hold back her tears.
Gu was nominated along with four American athletes, one of whom, Ja Morant, is a star for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Her face lit up when she heard the news.
Then it was the turn of social media to catch on.
Derek Hunter, an American podcaster, said about Gu’s win on social media, “The Best communist sell-out to a regime that kills people for a lot of money goes to…Eileen Gu!”
Matt Whitlock, a Republican commentator, said on Twitter, “Nice work, @ESPYS. Great PR win for the people in charge of slave labor camps.
The Daily Caller, a conservative news organization, said on Twitter, “Maybe we should give that kind of award to American athletes who don’t support China.”
Greg Price, a media commentator in Philadelphia, wrote: “ESPN gave the “Breakthrough Athlete of the Year” award to skier Eileen Gu, who grew up in San Francisco and is now a student at Stanford. However, she gave up her U.S. citizenship to compete for China at the Olympics last year.”
It is the same kind of criticism that Gu faced when she won the first women’s freeski Big Air at the Olympics and was made to cry by the public.
As she gave her acceptance speech on stage on Thursday, she was very emotional but never looked like she was going to cry. Gu thanked “all the women” who had gone before her and ended her speech in Cantonese by saying, “In the end, I want to thank all the people who support me.”
Since the Olympics, Gu’s popularity in China has soared, and he has gained more than a million new Instagram followers.