Gymnast Simone Biles Faces Racism from Opponents

Simone Biles

Last week, the United States' Simone Biles won the all-around title at the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, an astonishing achievement for anyone. The fact that Biles is the first Black woman to do so is one component of the story, and it's now become a prominent one.

After the event, fellow competitor Carlotta Ferlito of Italy was speaking in an interview and offered a pointed critique of Biles' victory: "I told (teammate Vanessa Ferrari) that next time we should also paint our skin Black so then we can win, too." Yeah, you can see how that might not go over so well.

Biles' father Ron told USA Today the comment was "insulting," adding, "The racial comment was really out of line." He pointed out that "normally it's not in her favor being Black, at least not in the world that I live in." But Biles' parents have counseled her to let the incident go, and she has not commented publicly on it.

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