Celebrity Apprentice host and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t keep quiet when a Facebook troll posted an offensive comment about the Special Olympics.
Last week, Schwarzenegger posted a video of himself with athletes participating in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in his home country of Austria. “These guys inspire me!” he wrote on the clip. Unfortunately, as frequently happens on the internet, not all of the post’s comments were supportive.
“The Special Olympics make no sense. The Olympics are for the best athletes in the entire world to compete against each other to determine who is best,” one commenter wrote. “Having retards competing is doing the opposite.”
Schwarzenegger saw the comment, and he didn’t ignore it. In fact, he penned a firm response to the troll.
“As evil and stupid as this comment is,” he began, “I’m not going to delete it or ban you (yet) because it’s a teachable moment.”
He went on to defend the athletes at the games and offered some advice for how to emulate them:
You have two possible paths ahead. Right now, I guarantee you that these athletes have more courage, compassion, brains and skill ― actually more of every positive human quality than you. So take their path ― you could learn from them, and try to challenge yourself, to give back, to add something to the world. Or you can stay on your path, and keep being a sad pitiful jealous Internet troll who adds nothing to the world but mocks anyone who does out of small-minded jealousy. I know that all you really want is attention, so let me be clear. If you choose to keep going this way, no one will ever remember you.
Both the troll’s comment and Schwarzenegger’s reply have since been deleted, but fans on social media made sure to save evidence of the important message, which quickly went viral. Some even returned to the original Facebook post to share what the actor’s words meant to them.
“I have a son with autism,” wrote one commenter, “and know many Special Olympics participants, and you are absolutely right … these athletes have more heart and courage than the stupid Twitter troll could ever dream of having. Thank you for standing up for them!”
Another commenter, who works for the Special Olympics, told him, “We need more people supporting our movement and showcasing the abilities and incredible spirit of our Athletes.”
It’s certainly not the first time Schwarzenegger has stood up for what he believes in. In addition to taking on President Donald Trump’s criticism of his performance on Celebrity Apprentice (which the president previously hosted), he has also had strong words for those who question the science of climate change.