Friday, Jan. 6 was the season opener of the Louisiana State University’s (LSU) gymnastics team in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah. It wasn’t without problems, though, as crowds of Tigers fans caused disruption all for influencer Livvy Dunne. Although Dunne had faced an injury, and was unable to compete in the teams first few meets, her fans showed up regardless and made dangerous attempts to meet her during and after the meet. Her fans continuously chanted “We want Livvy, we want Livvy!” throughout the match while holding life size cutouts of the influencer. Since the opener, videos of these fans have gained a lot of traction on social media, as people worried about the dangerous attempts the fans made to try to meet Dunne. LSU also spoke out on the matter by announcing that they would be upping their security for all future meets.
Head coach Jay Clark emphasized the importance of the team’s safety as he announced some of the new rules that would be implemented, such as parameters around the team’s bus before and after away meets. Clark has also made changes for home meets, not allowing the team members to go to the stands after they compete. He made the change so that his members could safely interact with fans from a distance, but emphasized the fact that these interactions will be closely moderated to ensure adequate safety. He also plans on developing a private area in the arena for the athletes to connect with their families after the events.
But what about Livvy?
LSU gymnastics has clearly done their part in this matter but has Livvy? Many people point fingers and say she is to blame for the incident due to the content she posts online. However, Dunne responded to the initial controversy a mere two days later via Twitter, saying “I will always appreciate and love the support from you guys, 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.”
Livvy Dunne has changed the world of college athletics, being the highest paid female collegiate athlete and one of the most popular influences in the world. A lot of her content revolves around gymnastics and her teammates at LSU. The biggest question then is: will her fans stop? It is unknown if the crowds will die down or potentially rise up after this matter, as increased security does not equate to a complete ban of her fanbase at meets. At the moment, it seems like the fans won’t stop any time soon. However, the 2023 gymnastics season has just begun, so only time will tell.
Make sure to tweet us @VALLEYmag with your thoughts on the situation. If LSU gymnastics comes to Penn State in the future, will you be at the meets?