She just became the first Olympic athlete, male or female, to medal in six consecutive summer Olympic Games, but most sports fans have never heard of U.S. skeet-shooter Kim Rhode.
Conservatives say there’s a reason for that: She’s pro-Second Amendment. Not only that, she supports Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“It’s media bias: Olympics edition,” Matt Palumbo said on the Allen B. West website.
A post by Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft stated, “First woman to medal in six Olympics ignored by media because she is pro-Second Amendment.”
The uproar reached the fact-checking website Snopes.com, which declared the reports false because a number of news outlets carried stories Friday about Ms. Rhode’s third-place finish in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Snopes cited reports in USA Today, the New York Times, CBS Sports, SB Nation, WGN-TV in Chicago and NBC Sports, which is covering the Olympics.
The New York Times and WGN-TV articles ran Associated Press wire stories, while CBS Sports carried the USA Today article.
Other publications — including Forbes, Time, Huffington Post and NPR — ran profiles prior to the Olympics about Ms. Rhode that “highlighted her views on the Second Amendment,” Snopes said.
Given the magnitude of Ms. Rhode’s accomplishment, however, conservatives say the coverage was perfunctory, which they attribute to a bias against shooting sports and her political views.
After her achievement, Ms. Rhode told reporters, “I’m definitely Trump! He’s very much for the Second Amendment.”
Asked why she wouldn’t prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton, given that she’s a female athlete, Ms. Rhode said, “You know, I mean definitely having a [female] president would be incredible, just not Hillary,” The Guardian in the U.K. reported.
A Californian, Ms. Rhode has previously criticized the state’s strict gun-control laws, including limits on ammunition purchases, which she said will make competing more difficult.
“I shoot 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, having to do a background check every time I purchase ammo or when I bring ammo out for a competition or a match — those are very, very challenging for me,” she told The Guardian.
Ms. Rhode has also been unable to find sponsors for her sport outside the firearms industry, her agent said.
“The big mystery is how someone like Kim isn’t part of the Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and the Olympics sponsor push,” her agent Patrick Quinn told Bloomberg Markets after her medal win, saying that he pitched her to about 20 companies but that none were interested.
In her previous five Olympics, Ms. Rhode won three gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
Before Ms. Rhode, only Italian luger Armin Zoeggeler had earned medals in six consecutive Olympic Games. He competed in the winter games, not summer.