The American gymnast reveals she was pepper-sprayed when she was waiting for an Uber in Los Angeles, where she has been for her ‘Dancing with the Stars’ stint.
AceShowbiz -Sunisa Lee, also known as Suni Lee, has become the victim of anti-Asian hate. The Olympic gold medalist revealed she was pepper sprayed in a racist incident that left her feeling “so mad.”
The 18-year-old, who was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, opened up about being targeted in the racist attack during an interview with PopSugar. She said the incident happened recently in Los Angeles, where she has been staying during her participation in the current season 30 of “Dancing with the Stars“.
She said she was waiting for an Uber after a night out with her friends, who are all of Asian descent when they were startled by a car speeding by. The people in the car hurled phrases like “ching chong” and “go back to where they came from,” she claimed. Suni, who is the first Hmong American to make the U.S. Olympic team, said one passenger even sprayed her arm with pepper spray before speeding off.
“I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off,” she said of the incident. “I didn’t do anything to them, and having the reputation, it’s so hard because I didn’t want to do anything that could get me into trouble. I just let it happen.”
Suni later confirmed to CNN that the incident happened in October.
The racist attack aside, Suni spoke in the interview about caring for her mental health. “There’s so much power in owning your feelings,” she said about the importance of speaking openly about the issue. “It’s not weakness, it’s actually taking control.”
Attacks against Asians in America have surged during the pandemic. Fellow athletes Jeremy Lin and Yu Chang recently also spoke out about hatred directed their way. The CBA star claimed he was called “coronavirus” on the court, while the Cleveland Guardians infielder said his DMs would be flooded with racist messages after a game.
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