The unfortunate wording of a tweet from Kristi Yamaguchi made for one extremely awkward situation this week. The former Olympic figure skater and “Dancing with the Stars” champion sent her well-wishes to fellow former figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, who made her dancing debut on the hit ballroom dancing competition show Monday night. While Yamaguchi’s intentions were seemingly good, many couldn’t help but feel the tweet was secretly cold-hearted.
In a tweet Monday morning, Yamaguchi expressed her excitement that Kerrigan would be competing this season and wished her luck. “Can’t wait to see you grace that ballroom floor,” she tweeted. “Break a leg!” Many social media users, however, felt as though the last part of her tweet should never have been sent.
So excited for you @NancyAKerrigan ! Can't wait to see you grace that ballroom floor, break a leg! #DWTS
— Kristi Yamaguchi (@kristiyamaguchi) March 20, 2017
While “break a leg” is very often used in theatre to wish a performer good luck, it is not used as much in dancing. Many saw it as even more problematic given the manner in which Kerrigan was attacked following a practice session in 1994. Just weeks before the Olympic Games, Kerrigan was injured when she was clubbed in the back of the knee by a man who had been hired by Kerrigan’s rival Tonya Harding and Harding’s ex-husband. It is considered one of the biggest sports scandals in American history.
After healing from the injury, Kerrigan went on to win the silver medal in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
According to the Huffington Post, the tweet was meant to be completely innocent. Yamaguchi and Kerrigan are friends, which is probably why Yamaguchi sent the tweet in the first place. In a statement to the Huffington Post, Yamaguchi’s representative said, “Kristi loves Nancy and has nothing but respect for her. No ill will was intended with the tweet and Nancy herself has received and commented on the well wishes that were sent.” Kerrigan thanked Yamaguchi for her advice.
On “Dancing with the Stars,” Kerrigan is paired with pro Artem Chigvintsev, working for their chance to take home the coveted Mirrorball trophy. The couple danced a graceful Viennese waltz to “She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel during the premiere, earning them a 28 out of 40 points.
See how social media reacted to Yamaguchi’s tweet below:
Social Media Reacts to Kristi Yamaguchi’s Good Luck Tweet to Nancy Kerrigan
This is some of the most savage shit I have ever seen on this website https://t.co/TENlrRNT2g
— Logan Rhoades (@LoganRhoades) March 22, 2017
Foot –> mouth https://t.co/zeRuLx2v8t
— Darcy Keller (@darcyday) March 22, 2017
— Patrick (@pmc1423) March 22, 2017
.@kristiyamaguchi @NancyAKerrigan pic.twitter.com/B17BtA7tjY
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) March 22, 2017
— kylie sparks⚾️ (@kyliesparks) March 22, 2017
that wording though… pic.twitter.com/XisJ9CNqXc
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) March 22, 2017
— Ej Dickson (@ejdickson) March 22, 2017
— Adam Mordecai (@advodude) March 22, 2017
.@kristiyamaguchi @nancyakerrigan pic.twitter.com/1tyoq1ZwbC
— alex medina (@mrmedina) March 22, 2017
.@kristiyamaguchi @NancyAKerrigan pic.twitter.com/yJHoeLgAND
— -=CULLEN (@cullend) March 22, 2017
— Eric LaValle (@EricLaValle) March 22, 2017
words mean things, Kristi https://t.co/NPBzHQKeNc
— ChampagnePetty (@__Dutch) March 22, 2017
What are your thoughts on Kristi Yamaguchi’s tweet to Nancy Kerrigan? Are you rooting for Kerrigan on “Dancing with the Stars” this season? Sound off in the comments section below!
Photo credit: ABC