(OAKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) — An Oklahoma City Thunder cheerleader has some strong words for the female blogger who criticized her figure and posted a poll asking readers to decide if she was “too chunky” to cheer.
“Shame on you. I mean you are a woman … you know exactly what we all go through on a daily basis just being a woman,” Kelsey Williams said. “Shame on you.”
Speaking to ABC News’ Bianna Golodryga on Good Morning America Wednesday, Williams said her “heart sank” when she read what the CBS Houston sports blogger, writing under the name “Claire Crawford,” wrote on April 22 after seeing her cheer at a first-round NBA playoffs game between the Thunder and the Houston Rockets.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the blogger’s name was a pseudonym for Anna-Megan Raley, who once blogged for the paper and posted a video of her audition to be a Houston Dynamo soccer team cheerleader.
“The Rockets looked terrible in Game 1, but some say they weren’t the only bad-looking people on the court,” Crawford wrote on Houston’s SportsRadio 610, also noting that Oklahoma City fans had criticized Williams for “having ‘pudginess’ around her waistline.”
Crawford conceded Williams was a “pretty blonde” and concluded her post by writing, “We think she’s beautiful,” but her blog drew criticism nonetheless. The six-paragraph article also included a poll asking readers if “this chick is ‘too chunky’ to be a cheerleader.”
Voters could choose that Williams either had “the perfect look to be an NBA cheerleader,” “she could use some tightening up in her midsection,” or, “she has no business wearing that outfit in front of people.”
Williams said she wears a size 4. She also told Golodryga that she eats right and works out three to four hours daily to meet the requirements for being a professional cheerleader, but she added that she embraces her body.
“I have always had more of an athletic build, different than the slender ballerina that some people may think of as a dancer, and that’s just not me,” she said.
The cheerleader said the episode was hard for her family. Williams started to cry when she recalled the effect on her husband and father.
“They are just equally upset,” she said. “They think I am beautiful and they love me, so I think they were hurt too.”
Williams said she is grateful for the overwhelming support she has received from her family, friends, fans, and from strangers online.
“I have so much love in me,” she said. “Sending hate her way would do nothing … what’s done is done. I’m just going to keep my chin up.”
After the blog was published, Williams took to Twitter to politely fire back at Crawford.
“To be womanly always, discouraged never,” she wrote.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Jethro Mullen, Ravi Hiranand and Frank Pallotta, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Sara Zendehnam, CNN