Source: Kelly Whiteside / USA Today
Once again racist comments took hostage of a proud moment for a 16-year-old American gymnast. In this case the moment belonged to Simone Biles who became the first black woman to win a world all-around title last week.
After Biles won bronze on the balance beam at worlds in Antwerp, Belgium, Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito said in a video interview, “I told (teammate Vanessa Ferrari) that next time we should also paint our skin black so then we can win, too.”
“I found it very insulting,” Biles father, Ron, told USA TODAY Sports from their home in Spring, Texas. “The racial comment was really out of line.”
Biles mother, Nellie, said she had a talk with her daughter the past two days when the family learned about the comments. “It did bother her,” Nellie said. “I told her, ‘Don’t get roped into this’ and, ‘Don’t let those comments ruin this moment for you. Just be proud of your performance and outcome.’ People are entitled to their opinion. For her to go into this racism stuff is pointless, and she’s not going to address it.”
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