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US Simone Biles Defends Italy's Vanessa Ferrari Against Racism Accusation

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles defended fellow competitor Vanessa Ferrari of Italy against racism accusation made towards her. Biles shared a ...


Olympic gymnast Simone Biles defended fellow competitor Vanessa Ferrari of Italy against racism accusation made towards her.

Biles shared a post to her Instagram story addressing the accusation.

"Guys please stop lashing out at Vanessa, she has always been kind to Team USA," wrote the American gymnast. "Hopefully I can see you Vanessa and give you a formal apology for everyone lashing out. Until then good luck to you & Italy! See you around!!!!!"


Screenshot by drogonsdaughter/Twitter

 

Ferrari was accused of racism  when drag queen Jasmine Masters posted a video of the gymnast injuring herself while preforming one of the elements Simone has competed, adding "Vanessa Ferrari trying to do the same skill as Simone after saying she only wins cuz she's black" to it and captioning it "LOL".

The accusation was based on an incident that happened 8 years ago, where Ferrari's then teammate Carlotta Ferlito said to a reporter that she told Ferrari that they would paint their skin black so they could win too.

Ferlito remarks took place at the 2013 World championships, where Biles became the first African American gymnast to win a World all around gold medal.

A year earlier, Gabby Douglas became the first African American gymnast to win an all around gold at an Olympic Games.

Ferlito later apologized for the comment.

Simone's mother, Nellie Biles, said that the comments bother the gymnast at that time.

Last year, Biles recalled the incident in an interview with Today "really the news rather than me winning Worlds."

"Other than that, [racism] happens every day, and I feel like every Black athlete can say that they've experienced it through their career," continued Biles. "But we just have to keep going for those little ones looking up to us."

Written by Gigi Farid


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