INDIANAPOLIS - Gold medal-winning diver David Boudia sparked an uproar online Thursday after comparing taxing the rich to the civil rights struggles of Rosa Parks.
Boudia, 23, who lives in Noblesville, tweeted, "Targeting the wealthy for tax raises is like telling Rosa Park (sic) to move to the back of the bus #hardworkingcitzens."
The comment immediately ignited a firestorm online, with several followers chastising Boudia.
"I'm sorry you feel (that) way. I used to respect you. You just lost a follower," tweeted L. Cohen from Indianapolis.
"No it's not! There's hard working ppl who are living on the poverty line due to crippling taxes and wealthy ppl who pay the same," AislingC tweeted.
"It's hard work for a millionaire hedge fund manager to sit at a computer all day moving money from one account to another?" Dawn9476 tweeted.
On the RTV6 Facebook page , commenters slammed the comparison.
"It's NOTHING like telling Rosa Parks to move to the back of the bus," Kevin MacDonald wrote.
"Pretty sure taxation has nothing to do with racism but oooookay then," Kendal Erickson posted.
"No, David, it is nothing like telling Rosa Park to go to the back of the bus. You are kind of clueless," Dennis Weber wrote.
But others defended Boudia's comparison and his right to voice his opinions.
"How is raising the taxes on the wealthy (who create jobs!) going to help our spending problem??? Maybe he has more wisdom than some of you," Monica Hornsby Dick wrote.
"He has the right to his opinion just as those who disagree with him have their right to their opinion," Nate Wills posted. "People who follow him on Twitter want to know what he is thinking/feeling. If that is what he is thinking or feeling, then I have no problem with it."
Boudia, who competed in the 2012 summer games in London, became the first U.S. man to win a platform diving gold since Greg Louganis.