Why Cheer's La'Darius Marshall and Gabi Butler Are Feuding
This drama is nothing to cheer about.
A feud between Gabi Butler and La’Darius Marshall, stars of Netflix’s 2020 docuseries Cheer and former members of the Bulldogs Cheer Team at Navarro College in Texas, has reignited months after she addressed backlash over a resurfaced photo of herself wearing blackface. Meanwhile, he has dropped a major bombshell, stating they were once intimately involved.
Here is a breakdown of the drama between the two.
Dec. 12, 2022: Blackface Controversy
After the unofficial Twitter account Cheer Confessions Inc. shared a throwback photo of Gabi sitting in a car with her face painted black, she responded in a statement on her own Twitter, which she later deleted but has since been reposted on TikTok.
“In 2018, I was in my first year at Navarro College just prior to leaving for Daytona,” she wrote. “All members of my rookie class were told by our veteran teammates we had to come to an initiation at CTA (the Allstar location off campus where we practiced). The veterans made us dress in all black and paint our faces; certain members wore ski masks as they did not have face paint.”
She added, “My rookie teammates, including a few who also happened to be people of color, were asked to do this, and we complied with the request as we did not want to get in trouble with said veterans.”
Gabi reportedly included in her post “pictures and videos of some of my other rookie teammates who followed the same instructions.” She added, “I am sorry I need to pull my teammates into this, but I have no choice but to speak the truth about this situation since the lie has been spread across social media.”
One of Gabi’s friends, TT Barker, came to her defense, tweeting, “She is literally one of my best friends and she has not given me any racist vibes at all.”
The following day, Gabi wrote on Twitter, “For those saying I shouldn’t have participated, there is one simple reason why I didn’t refuse this request. I had never even heard of blackface and had no idea it was even a thing. If I had thought this request had anything to do with racism I would have absolutely refused.”
One user then wrote to her, “I’m sorry but there’s no way you didn’t know what blackface was at your age. Even if you didn’t how could you ever feel comfortable with the black covering your entire face and not feel like you were being disrespectful to black people. Most people would have.”
Gabi responded, “Except one of my best friends TT who is black also painted his face for this. Are you now calling TT and the other people of color who were there racists also? Isn’t blackface based on intent? None of us were trying to imitate the appearance of a black person.”
Dec. 13, 2022: La’Darius Marshall Enters the Chat:
“No, what we won’t do is throw the ‘other people of color’ under the bus,” the 24-year-old wrote in response to Gabi. “The rest of the minority’s spoke out against this, I personally talked to you and said that it was not a good idea. So no we didn’t all feel the same, I forgave you for it but don’t sit on here and LIE.”
Two days later, when asked if he was still friends with Gabi, La’Darius tweeted, “Yes, on my end. I always loved her but I have always told my friends the business when they were wrong. Right is right, wrong is wrong.”
Feb. 1, 2023: The Feud Reignites as La’Darius Drops a Bombshell:
In a TikTok video, he claimed the two were exes. “I’ve been backing this b—h since we first started cheerleading when I was at Navarro,” he said. “I’m tired. I’m no longer backing her. The only reason I was backing her is because we were sleeping together.”
He continued, “That’s the only reason we dealt with each other, is because we were with each other. This girl literally slept in my dorm every single day when we were at Navarro.”
Amid ongoing criticism, Gabi went on Instagram Live, saying, “I’m not afraid of you La’Darius Marshall. I’m not afraid of you, so if you want to keep running your mouth, keep running it, because it doesn’t affect me.”
She continued, “At the end of the day, people that want to talk smack, want to talk smack because they’re too bored or too lonely or too upset with things that have happened in their life. So I’m not going to let somebody tear me down and try to get to me because I am a light in this world and you’re darkness.”
@ladarius_marshall17 Replying to @jas.813 ? original sound – ??LaDIDI??
Meanwhile, La’Darius shared TikTok videos of himself and Gabi kissing and cuddling. He wrote, “I rest my CASE.”
@ladarius_marshall17 Replying to @fendionmars ? original sound – ??LaDIDI??
He added, “Hmmmm I thought it was five years ago but we the last video was in 2021 before I left Navarro.”
In another video shared Feb. 2, La’Darius slammed Gabi as a “dumba–,” saying, “You keep sitting there acting like I’m demonic and dark and twisted. The only demonic and dark and twisted things that I’ve ever done, and I can admit them, was ever mess around with you when you had a boyfriend. And I mean every single one of them. So for me, I’m not going to sit here and keep arguing with someone who’s really a liar.”
E! News has reached out for further comment from Gabi, La’Darius and Navarro College and has not heard back.
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