Gymnast Olivia Dunne Sparks Debate Over Patriotic Pronoun Announcement at NASCAR Event

College athlete Olivia Dunne ignited a social media debate after posting a TikTok video in which she announces her “pronouns”

April 15, 2023: Olivia Dunne (LSU) during the 2023 NCAA National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships Final at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Melissa J. Perenson/Cal Sport Media(Credit Image: © Melissa J. Perenson/Cal Sport Media) Newscom/(Mega Agency TagID: csmphotothree084632.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

College athlete Olivia Dunne ignited a social media debate after posting a TikTok video in which she announces her “pronouns” at a NASCAR event. Dunne, an accomplished gymnast at LSU and a social media sensation since joining TikTok in 2020, has become the most-followed NCAA athlete on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, with millions of devoted followers.

In the video that sparked the discussion, Dunne stood alongside two U.S. soldiers at a NASCAR Cup Series race in Nashville. As a recorded audio played, she proudly mouthed the words, “my pronouns are U S A!” accompanied by the sound of an eagle’s call.

While Dunne intended the announcement as a display of patriotism and support for the troops, it generated mixed reactions. Some viewers applauded her for showing overt support for the United States and its military, particularly as a prominent female figure. However, others found it controversial and argued that it was a misuse of the term “pronouns.”

The controversy stemmed from the fact that traditional pronouns, such as “he,” “she,” or gender-neutral alternatives, are typically used to affirm one’s gender identity. By using “U S A” as her proclaimed pronouns, Dunne took a different approach, which some felt could overshadow or diminish the importance of personal pronouns in the context of gender identity.

Critics suggested that the video might upset individuals who have experienced challenges related to their gender identity and the recognition of their preferred pronouns. However, supporters appreciated Dunne’s visible demonstration of support for the United States and its armed forces, highlighting the significance of public figures openly expressing patriotism.

The incident opened up a broader conversation about the appropriate use of pronouns and the intersection of patriotism and gender identity. It served as a reminder that the understanding and respectful use of personal pronouns are crucial aspects of promoting inclusivity and supporting individuals in their self-expression.

As Dunne’s popularity and influence continue to grow, her actions and statements garner increased attention and generate discussions among her substantial online following. Whether intentional or not, her patriotic pronoun announcement at the NASCAR event has ignited conversations about the nuances of pronoun usage, patriotism, and the impact of public displays of support on social media platforms.