British Olympian Louis Smith has been criticised for ‘sexualising’ a teenage girl after posting a photo of a teen girl’s bum on Instagram.
The Olympic silver medal winning gymnast shared a zoomed in picture of the U.S. gymnast Carly Paetterson’s backside at the 2000 Athens Olympics, when she was just 16-years-old.
He captioned the photo: ‘My sport has its moments’.
Fans who spotted the photo began claiming that the photo was sexy, adding that it casually sexualised a young girl, The Mirror reports.
Louis soon shot back at those messaging him saying he was unaware of Carly’s age when the photo was taken, writing: “How was I to know she was 16?”
After being bombarded by angry comments, Smith removed the photo, but allegedly refused to apologise to Carly.
The day I apologise will be when Carly Patterson says she’s offended.
If you don’t like my vulgar, disgraceful, morally bigoted, racial, sexist, feministic, facetious behaviour then just unfollow me or even block me.
Smith even joked about the outrage on Twitter, saying: “Jeez @CarlyPatterson what a day!! What a day!! Same time next week!?”
Carly, who’s 28 now, didn’t seem all that bothered by the photo and tried to calm things down by saying she wasn’t offended, writing: “Sorry @louissmith1989! Its totally ok guys, we’re friends”.
— Morgan (@PrincessPodko) June 14, 2016
@CarlyPatterson Shouldn't matter that you're friends. He was contributing to the sexualization of underage female gymnasts. That is wrong.
— Sonia (@asonia786) June 13, 2016
@CarlyPatterson Why Carly? That was disgusting of him to do, even if he didn't put a picture and you up and it was someone else.
— äśh (@beautyingym) June 13, 2016
As you can imagine it didn’t help stem the rich torrent of hate on Twitter.