2021 US Championships

A New Generation Of Gymnasts: Why Morgan Hurd Aims To Be Voice Of Change

A New Generation Of Gymnasts: Why Morgan Hurd Aims To Be Voice Of Change

Morgan Hurd represents a new generation of gymnasts who stand up for what they believe in and use their platforms to create change.

Nov 23, 2020 by Miranda Martin
A New Generation Of Gymnasts: Why Morgan Hurd Aims To Be Voice Of Change

Morgan Hurd keeps her pronouns (she/her) in her bio, encourages everyone to wear a mask, and doesn’t shy away from sharing her opinions on social justice topics, even while she launches into the public eye as her career intensifies. Hurd speaks out about many social issues, especially ones that affect marginalized communities.

“They’re obviously something I’m very passionate about and I don’t believe it’s a political thing — I believe it is a humanity thing and a morals thing, and I want people to know where I stand on that,” she shared. 

Hurd is vocal about many different social issues, most recently encouraging people to vote. She repeatedly encouraged people to register in the months leading up to the election, and eventually shared her own voting sticker selfie!

Hurd feels “blessed with a platform” and doesn’t want it to go to waste, but she would be outspoken whether she had 135,000 Instagram followers or not. 

“Even if I didn’t have I would still be speaking out, because I always say that if you can get even one person to change their views or to listen to you, then you’ve succeeded.” 

- Morgan Hurd

This Olympic hopeful is also involved in activism by going to protests she supports. She posted an image of herself at the Women’s March in Washington DC. 

Sharing her love of books, especially dystopian novels, she sees how similar stories play out in real life and that inspires her to take an activist role in the world. 

“You’ll look at these books and watch these movies and you think, ‘Oh, what would I do in that situation?’ Right now, you’re given that opportunity to see what you would do, and I want to make sure I’m doing the right thing,” Hurd said. 

Earlier this year, Hurd posted images of herself at the Black Lives Matter protests.

Besides physically protesting, Hurd uses her platform to speak out and spread awareness about issues surrounding racism in the United States. 

Hurd isn’t the only gymnast using her platform for good. Other gymnasts, such as Simone Biles, Nya Reed, Laurie Hernandez, and more are frequently speaking out on social. She also receives kind direct messages and comments thanking her for speaking out, as well as support from friends. 

On the flip side, she’s also received her fair share of criticism from people in her comments section or from direct messages. Some tell her she’s ignorant or uneducated, but she doesn't allow those comments to dissuade her. 

When asked if she’s ever afraid about losing people because of her opinions, she said, “Then those aren’t the people that I would want in my life anyway.”

To those who might ask her to stay out of politics, Hurd agrees with Naomi Osaka, as she retweeted the tennis star’s recent opinion. The tweet referenced criticism Osaka received after wearing masks with the names of victims of police violence to the US Open. 

Mature beyond her years, Hurd credits much of her ability to express her opinions and views from the gymnasts before her. 

“I know that because of past gymnasts being able to find their voice and speak out, it has inspired our generation of gymnasts now to be able to do the same,” she said. 

As the culture of gymnastics busts open from the inside out to expose abuse that has run rampant in the sport for years, gymnasts, coaches, and fans are realizing that there is power in using their voice to stand up for what they believe is right.

Some gymnasts today are changing that narrative by just being themselves and speaking out about what they believe in. Alongside other outspoken Generation Z gymnasts, Hurd is sharing her opinions online and changing the culture.  

“I just remember that this is something bigger than gymnastics, this is something that could affect the world forever...I’m not trying to say just a sport, but...it is just a sport, and this is real life. People out here are dying and literally fighting for their lives."

-Morgan Hurd


 

Morgan Hurd may be young, but she knows what she stands for. Her intentions are to give voice to the voiceless and help right the wrongs as she sees it.

“I think everyone is honestly so fed up with the way that the world is, and we are not going to be the generation that stands for it," Hurd explained. "I mean, we are the generation that grew up with all of this in our history books, and with movies, TV shows, and books that basically, it’s the same situation. History is literally repeating itself, and it’s an open book test. We want to be on the right side of it.”