DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — A professional paintballer was kicked off her team after posting a TikTok video making fun of a teenager who was hospitalized with COVID-19.
The viral clip mocked a high school football star and college prospect who recently spent time in a Florida hospital suffering from COVID-19.
After the student went on television with his mother talking about his scary ordeal, Team USA Paintball player Jessica Maiolo suggested on social media that the boy got infected because he is overweight.
“Ma’am your kid does not need a COVID shot. Your kid needs a [expletive] treadmill. That’s what he needs,” Maiolo said in a TikTok that was quickly deleted.
Another user, named Savannah Sparks, reposted the TikTok along with her own commentary.
“Jessica, as a member of Team USA Paintball I don’t think you’re qualified to speak on public health issues especially when it’s to fat-shame a hospitalized teenager who probably didn’t have a say in whether or not he was vaccinated,” Sparks said in a response that went viral.
Outrage grew on the platform with some other TikTok users calling Maiolo a “vile human.”
Team USA noticed too. It investigated and has now fired Maiolo.
A statement from the team said, in part, “Our decision to dismiss Ms. Maiolo from the Team USA program is final and in effect immediately.”
Maiolo apologized for what she calls “a moment of regret” on Instagram. She goes on to say, “I am deeply sorry for any attention I have brought to this family.”
Team USA Paintball is not affiliated with the Olympics.