Group of Livvy Dunne fans creates security issue at LSU-Utah meet

By Patricia Duffy | January 8, 2023
Livvy Dunne - LSU
Livvy Dunne poises for a promo shot ahead of the 2023 NCAA gymnastics season. (@livvydunne/Instagram)

Livvy Dunne fans were out in full force on Friday night at the LSU-Utah meet in Salt Lake City, and it wasn’t a positive experience for all who encountered the 20-year-old’s supporters.

Originally tweeted by Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) on January 7, 2023.

According to reporter Josh Furlong, a large group of “teenage boys” was gathered outside of the Huntsman Center after the meet asking for Dunne, who has amassed 6.6 million followers on TikTok and has a NIL value of approximately $2.7 million.

“There’s literally a line outside of the Huntsman Center of teenage boys that keep asking if Livvy is coming out. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Furlong tweeted.

Just a few minutes later, Furlong followed up with a quote tweet saying, “LSU had to move its team bus so they didn’t have to run into the group of boys. There were cops stationed in front to avoid them getting in.”

There was also a large group of male fans in the arena chanting “Livvy” with signs. It’s unclear if this group and the one outside were the same.

Furlong wasn’t the only person to witness the strange situation.

Utah junior Jillian Hoffman’s mom, Jennifer, shared on Facebook how the group “swarmed” them and another of Hoffman’s teammates.

“They literally said to their faces, ‘You are not Livvy, but you will do. Can we get a picture?’ They also called my daughter Livvy 2.0. They were so rude and disrespectful. It was very hard for mama bear [to] not come out.”

2008 Olympic silver medalist and current commentator Sam Peszek shared a video of the situation.

Dunne made a statement about the situation on Sunday with a tweet 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.”

This is just the latest situation in which Dunne’s popularity has gone beyond her social media presence.

In November, New York Times reporter Kurt Streeter published a story titled, “New Endorsements for College Athletes Resurface an Old Concern: Sex Sells,” in which Streeter interviewed Dunne and explored whether “the way many female athletes are attaining” money is regressive to women’s sports and the fight for gender equality, as a whole.

The story received immense backlash across social media. Shortly after it was published, Dunne was firing back on social media, sharing a photo from the photoshoot and tagging The Times’ Instagram with the caption, “Is this too much?”

Later that week, Dunne shared a video on TikTok that was captioned, “Only taking steps forward.”