Los Angeles — The 4-time Olympic Champion, Simone Biles responded to a heartbreaking video recently of a gymnastics official skipping over a young black gymnast during an award ceremony in Dublin, Ireland.
Over the weekend, the athlete, 26, recently spoke out about her lack of tolerance for racism after a clip that was taken at a gymSTART event resurfaced. The clip showed a line of young competitors enthusiastic to receive their medals. However, the only Black gymnast among several of her white competitors was ignored and left empty-handed, shocking many worldwide and Biles wanting to reach out to the little girl.
“When this video was circulating, her parents reached out. It broke my heart to see, so I sent her a little video. There is no room for racism in any sport or at all!!!!.”
when this video was circulating, her parents reached out. It broke my heart to see, so I sent her a little video
there is no room for racism in any sport or at all !!!!
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) September 23, 2023
The video has now reached over 51 million views on X (formally known as Twitter) filled with comments from people applauding Biles for being an internet big sister and bringing comfort to the little girl.
There is no room for racism anywhere in life! A real hero for sending her a video. You should go to her classroom and shake hands with everyone except this “teacher”
— Chitta (@aasad003) September 23, 2023
Thank you @SimoneBiles for supporting this child and lessening the trauma just a bit. Thank you for reminding ⬜people of their duty to fight racism in every venue in which it's perpetuated. It's down to us to do it. If Black people could end racism, it wouldn't exist.
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) September 24, 2023
The Ohio-born athlete has always practiced standing up for what she believes in and doing what's right, as that’s how she was raised herself. Not only is she doing it now, in hopes of inspiring the new generation to do the same, but aspires her kids to “push the boundaries” as well.
It’s important for public figures like Biles to publicly comment on situations like these as she knows the potential strain it can put on the mental health of athletes of color. Her time in the limelight has of course brought success but also opened a window for her to be criticized by strangers online which she admitted can be hard to deal with.
Sydney Wanguhu, (she/her) is from The Bay Area and is an L.A.-based journalist who covers entertainment and culture. Follow her on Instagram: @sydneyy._
Edited by Nykeya Woods