by Pawan Atri
It is not the first time paintballer Jessica Maiolo has found herself entangled in a controversy. Earlier, the American star, a well-known critic of COVID vaccines, has shared several controversial theories directed against preventing the deadly virus and the scientifically-proven vaccines.
A Team USA paintballer was kicked out of her team on Monday after she made fun of a teenager who’d been hospitalised after getting infected with coronavirus.
Jessica Maiolo, a professional paintball player, was removed from her team after she was seen fat-shaming a 14-year-old boy in a now-deleted Tik Tok video. In the clip, Maiolo mocked the visibly obese teenager, saying instead of a vaccine, he needed “a f-king treadmill”.
The young boy was forced to stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for 10 days after he got sick with COVID-19.
Maiolo’s controversial Tik Tok video emerged after the boy’s mother regretted her decision of not having him vaccinated earlier because if she had done that then her son wouldn’t have got seriously ill and his symptoms would have been milder.
“Ma’am your kid does not need a COVID shot,” Maiolo said in the video. “Your kid needs a f–king treadmill. That’s what he needs.”
— Savannah (@rx0rcist) August 6, 2021
Immediately after Maiolo’s comments went viral, she faced a major backlash on various social media platforms with many labelling her ‘cruel’ and ‘evil’ for her remarks.
#JessicaMaiolo is a turd.
— )akobie©️ (@jwbreez) August 9, 2021
Jessica Maiolo #TeamUSAPaintball your trash
— W (@onedaxoxo) August 9, 2021
Well, Jessica Maiolo, of Team USA Paintball, has confirmed my decision not to back US athletes, because some of them are trumpers.
She released a TikTok mocking a teenager who contracted COVID and was hospitalized.
Maiolo is a evil trumper.
— Cons worship Donald Jesus Trump. (@JMcCabeFL) August 9, 2021
— ✨ (@alwaysafrade) August 6, 2021
ty USA paintball for finally kicking Jessica maiolo off the team! FUCK BULLIES 💯 idgaf what anyone says what she said was MALICIOUS
— ♡ mal ♡ (@stalecupcakez) August 10, 2021
Imagine how that sick child feels about some horrible stranger making a video about him, calling him fat, as he is lying in a hospital bed. Imagine how his parents, siblings & family feel thanks to #JessicaMaiolo. What the hell is wrong with this person & organization, seriously?
— Gaby Dow 🇺🇸✨ (@GabrielaDow) August 8, 2021
Outraged with her vile remarks, hundreds of users came out in support of the plus-sized teen before reporting the incident to Team USA Paintball.
The matter was investigated by USA Paintball and the group said on Monday that Maiolo has been sacked from the team with immediate effect.
“Our investigation into the troubling conduct of Ms. Maiolo has been concluded and we have decided to remove her from the team indefinitely,” Team USA Paintball said in a post on their Instagram.
“Playing for Team USA Paintball means representing the sport at the highest level and being a leader both on and off the field. We are an eclectic mix of culture, opinions and ideas – and that’s what makes our sport so great. We cannot tear each other down, both within our community and out. We are hopeful that this will serve as a valuable lesson for anyone paying attention.”
Maiola, on the other hand, showed no remorse for her actions before declaring that it was “never my intention to shame any individual”.
“What started out as me expressing my personal opinion about something I feel quite passionately about, has turned into a moment of regret for the situation I have put my teammates, our sponsors and the sport I love into,” a statement on her Instagram page read.
“If I were to have such a moment again to convey my full thoughts, I would choose my words more carefully and consider how my opinions may affect others,” she added.
“As may be evident by the hobbies I have, I am a passionate individual. My fire is the same for paintball and fitness as it is for self advocacy and all of the things that make me proud to live where I do.”
However, she assured that she should be more responsible with her choice of words, considering she has a huge following on social media.
“I appreciate the opportunity to see this situation from the viewpoint of others, and to learn where I can do better and will. I hope that I may inspire others to realise the power of their words too.”