RIO DE JANEIRO — Star American decathlete Ashton Eaton says he's represented his country well and has the right to wear a Canadian hat in support of his Saskatchewan-born wife, heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton.
Eaton was seen sporting a red Canada baseball cap at the Olympic track meet on Friday as Theisen-Eaton began her quest for a medal.
American decathlete Ashton Eaton came to support his wife, Canadian heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton, at the Olympic Stadium during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo: Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
The display of Canadian gear did not sit well with some social media users, who suggested he wasn't being a loyal American.
The world champion took to Twitter on Friday night to respond to the criticism.
"Have I not represented USA well? Yet u demand more. Ur respect is hard earned,'' he tweeted. "I support the country that produced my wife;who ru2 shame me?''
Many users also jumped to his defence, applauding him for being a supportive husband.
Olympic Heptathlon gold medallist Ashton Eaton pictured with his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton. (Photo: William Van Hecke/Corbis via Getty Images)
Theisen-Eaton, who was competing again on Saturday, also responded via Twitter.
"Ashton is my biggest fan & I couldn't do this w/out him,'' she tweeted. "Thank you @AshtonJEaton for always supporting me.''
Athletics Canada also gave him a shout-out.
"Ashton is my biggest fan."
"We appreciate the support for your wife, & we're cool with Bri supporting (the U.S.) when you compete,'' the organization tweeted.
Track and field's super couple are active on social media with the joint Twitter handle @weareeaton. They're also currently starring in a Visa commercial, a tongue-in-cheek depiction of how competitive they are with each other.
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