That’s Simone Biles, who last week became the first black woman to win the all-around title at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium. That title comes one year after Gabby Douglas became the first black woman to win the all-around title at the Olympics.
And it seems some of their peers have problems with that.
Biles also won the bronze medal on the balance beam last week. And after winning that medal Carlotta Ferlito, a gymnast from Italy, did a video interview and said, “I told (teammate Vanessa Ferrari) that next time we should also paint our skin black so then we can win, too.”
Hey, Carlotta, tell us how you really feel.
Of course, once Ferlito’s comments were made public, she came forward with the obligatory apology. Because people always apologize for racist comments once their comments are made public. Here’s Ferlito, via Twitter:
“I want to apologize with the Americans girls. I didn’t want to sound rude or racist. I love Simone and I’m a huge fan of USA gymnastics. I’ve made a mistake, I’m not perfect … I didn’t think about what I was saying. I’m just a human. I’m so so sorry.”
But is this a sign of growing animosity in a sport where two black women are emerging as dominant athletes?
During an appearance on Oprah last year, Douglas said that when it came time to clean some of the bars in the gym, one of her teammates said “Why doesn’t Gabby do it? She’s our slave.”
Which just goes to show that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Here’s the video of Biles in the floor exercise, on the way to winning the world title.