After a mob of rowdy boys disrupted the Lousiana State University gymnastic team – LSU Tiger’s away meet against the University of Utah last week, the university has taken special security measures for the team, especially when they travel away to compete.
The group of men, who have been described as ‘mob-like’ by the LSU Tigers coach Jay Clark, claimed to be fans of Olivia Dunne– a Tigers member who is a sensation on the social media platform TikTok. Videos of the group shared on social media show them with posters and a life-size cutout of Dunne. Although Dunne was out of the event owing to an injury, the group of men can be seen in the videos chanting: “We want Livvy! Give us Livvy”.
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Clark said that the security “will be in our hotel and outside our locker room and getting us to and from the bus at the venue.” The security officer’s responsibility will be to create “a perimeter that keeps everybody safe.”
“The safety of our student athletes is paramount to me as a father and as a coach of these amazing young women,” he told CNN.
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Clark added that the group affected the environment of the meet by “drawing attention away from what was going on on the floor” which in turn affected the performance of other gymnasts.
“So it was a little bit disconcerting, I think, the level of intensity that went with it,” he added. “There was a mob-like kind of feel out there, and that was disconcerting to me as someone who takes the responsibility for the welfare of our kids.”
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Olivia Dunne responded to the incident with a tweet asking her fans to be respectful while attending meets.
“I will always appreciate and love the support from you guys,” she said, adding, “but if you come to a meet, I want to ask you to please be respectful of the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job.”