After capturing the bronze on the balance beam at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium, 16-year-old Simone Biles was targeted with a racist remark by her competitor Carlotta Ferlito. After missing out on winning a medal, Ferlito said, “I told [teammate Vanessa Ferrari] that next time we should also paint our skin black so then we can win, too.”
Biles’ parents spoke about the incident on Thursday, saying that despite her calm outward appearance, the comments hurt the young gymnast.
Here’s what her mother, Nellie, had to say:
It did bother her. 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 (USA Today Sports).
Ron, Simone’s father, called Ferlito’s comments “really out of line.” He went on to say that after the initial shock, Biles has moved on.
Ferlito took to Twitter on Tuesday to apologize for her remark.
[Source: USA Today Sports]