New Ironman 70.3 professional triathlete Danielle Dingman created a GoFundMe campaign on 17th November at the request of family, friends, and fellow residents of Branson, Missouri, USA. In the campaign, she asks for support to pay for airfare, coaching, a pro license, food, and, of course, the 7% cut for GoFundMe. She experienced a major backlash, on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet, as a result.
What the haters say: In a nutshell, criticism usually embodies a belief in a common stereotype that paints millennials as spoiled and entitled takers who want handouts. True believers will say that the youngsters are afraid of the hard work required to achieve lofty goals.
In a Triathlon World opinion piece called “No Fund Me”, Phil Wrochna called the GoFundMe effort “a ludicrous indulgence.” Wrochna wrote about the hardships many pro triathletes face, like couch surfing and borrowing bikes and helmets. He praised their resourcefulness and said that they are better models to follow.
What happened to: nothing great in life is achieved without taking great risks…oh that’s right….millennials…give it to me on a platter!
— Andrew Starykowicz (@starykowicz) November 26, 2017
Other tweets were along the same lines.
The verdict: One thing subscribers to the Social Darwinist philosophy don’t understand is this: While the economic finish line is the same for everyone, there are many starting lines. Triathletes with wealthy parents often find easy funding for the time they have to spend training instead of earning a living. If they need an A-list coach, Daddy has that covered as well. Poor triathletes might have to continue digging ditches instead.
The levels of “resourcefulness” and “hard work” required, in the cases of Richie McRichard III and Sally Straptferkash, are wide apart. The Sally’s are much more likely to have to give up. If one is to be condemned for asking for financial support to fund an expensive goal, so should the other.