Lindsey Vonn was injured after protesting Donald Trump, and conservatives are celebrating

Vonn has pulled out of the St. Moritz race after hurting her back, and many conservatives are cheering her injury

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 11, 2017 7:50AM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Normally, Americans could unite behind the athletes who represent the United States — and they wouldn't celebrate it if an Olympic athlete were injured. But, as the reaction of conservatives to the back injury of skier Lindsey Vonn reveals, this courtesy isn't extended to athletes who criticize President Donald Trump.

Last week, Vonn incurred the wrath of conservatives when she implicitly criticized Trump during an interview with CNN about the ski team.

"Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president," Vonn told the news network on Thursday.

The next day, she elaborated on her initial comments.

"I was asked my opinion and I gave it. I mean, it's not necessarily my place to be sticking my nose in politics, but as an athlete I do have a voice," Vonn told reporters.

She added that she hoped to emulate other activist athletes, including former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"People like Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe and Colin Kaepernick. There's definitely been a lot of people that have made their voice heard and made a positive impact," Vonn told reporters.

"I'm not trying to be negative in any way; I'm trying to be positive. All those people have made a positive impact and hopefully my message does as well."

Over the weekend, during the super-G at the St. Moritz resort in Switzerland, Vonn hurt her back and slumped over to the ground shortly after crossing the finish line, according to CNN. She placed more than one second behind the winner, Swiss skier Jasmine Flury, who consequently won her first ever World Cup podium. Vonn placed 24th in the race.

As Vonn later explained on Twitter, she has "acute facet (spinal joint) dysfunction" in her back, which caused it to seize up as she competed. She eventually decided to sit out the remainder of the race so she could compete in next week's events, as well as the Winter Olympics in February.

And because Vonn was outspoken against Trump, conservatives — including some rather notable ones — celebrated her injury.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Lindsey Vonn Olympics Skiing