American gymnast Suni Lee, Olympic gold medal winner and first American of Hmong descent to compete in the Olympics, said she was pepper sprayed in a racist incident while in Los Angeles for the season of “Dancing with the Stars ”.
Lee was hoping for a ride after going out at night with a group of friends who were all of Asian descent, she told PopSugar magazine in an interview.
The gymnast said people inside a car had started shouting racist curses like “ching chong” and telling the girls to “go back to where you came from,” according to the report.
Then one of the passengers attacked his arm with pepper spray before the car left the scene. Lee confirmed to CNN that the incident happened in October.
“I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do because they ran away,” said the Olympic champion. “I didn’t do anything for them, and having the reputation, it’s so hard because I didn’t want to do anything that would get me in trouble. I just let it happen.”
Attacks against Asian Americans soared during the pandemic. A coalition that monitors racism and discrimination against Asian Americans said at least 4,533 incidents were reported in the first six months of this year.
More than 9,000 incidents have been reported to the Stop AAPI Hate coalition from the start of the pandemic through June of this year.
Reference: CNN Brasil