Olympic beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings has apologized after she sparked backlash for going shopping without a face mask in 'a little exercise in being brave'.
'My goodness gracious. To those I’ve upset so deeply, I am sorry,' she shared Tuesday, sharing an Instagram of a white flag and the word 'Truce'.
'To those calling me dumb, selfish, privileged, bigoted, and racist... I fully acknowledge that addressing such an emotional, layered, nuanced and polarizing topic on social media was not the smartest thing,' she added.
Walsh Jennings, who defied Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measures in refusing to wear a mask, said she was only trying to express her belief that 'FREEDOM IS A [sic] RIGHT WORTH FIGHTING FOR'.
'I believe we have to stay mindful of the FACT that our freedoms have slowly been taken from us with our consent,' she said.
Olympic beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings, 42, has apologized after she sparked backlash for going shopping without a face mask in 'a little exercise in being brave'
'My goodness gracious. To those I’ve upset so deeply, I am sorry,' she shared in an Instagram apology on Tuesday, adding 'I was not looking to do anything but express my belief that FREEDOM IS A [sic] RIGHT WORTH FIGHTING FOR'
Walsh Jennings, who won gold medals in beach volleyball in 2004, 2008, 2012 and bronze in 2016 in Rio de Janiero, said she is 'not advocating for people to stop wearing masks'
'I am not advocating for people to stop wearing masks. I wear a mask most often. I don’t believe in their efficacy unless it’s of a certain caliber, yet I wear them. I am advocating critical thinking and civility. I am advocating personal responsibility,' she added.
Her apology still led to anger from her followers.
'I’m a nurse. We have lost over 900 health care providers to COVID in this country. Are you seriously going to play the innocent "what happened to freedom of opinion?" Do you get that when someone goes to the hospital sick with COVID, those who care for them are putting their own health and those of their families at risk? Enjoy your arrogance and privilege but spare us your pontificating,' one Instagram follower clapped back.
In her controversial post late Sunday Walsh Jennings, who is looking to represent the US in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, said: 'I had a little exercise in being brave yesterday & I'm still a bit edgy about it. I went shopping without a mask on [sic] & this is why ... I read a quote the other day that shook me.'
'THIS HAS NOT BEEN ENFORCED, IT'S BEEN CONSENTED TO,' Walsh Jennings wrote.
She said that the quote 'woke me up & the truth of it has had me obsessing on the matter of how I can mindfully & compassionately stand up for my rights & for the freedoms our constitution has granted us all WITHOUT being reckless or putting anyone else in danger.
Backlash: Instagram commenters said Walsh Jennings confused freedom with common