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Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

I found this confession on the Gymnastics Fans' Confessions wall.

This prompted one of the moderators of the blog to share some very poignant and well spoken thought. Below the cut, I've posted the original confession and the text that proceeds it.



 I really wish people would stop saying that Carlotta Ferlito needs public speaking classes or media training or that she should know better than to say those things in an interview.The problem is NOT that she said those things during an interview. The problem is that she BELIEVED those things in the first place. During her interview she said that she had previously spoken to Vanessa Ferrari about painting her face black. That means that even before the interview took place she was already crediting Simone’s win to being African American. This was not just a mindless thought that slipped out during the interview. She spoke about it in private and then shared it with the rest of the world.

McKayla Maroney is the most powerful vaulter in the world and Aly Raisman is a hell of a tumbler. They’ve won gold medals fair and square, so naturally no one has said anything about their race…yet when two African American girls justly win the AA, they’re deprived of the same courtesy? People like Carlotta Ferlito and Rodionenko seem genuinely offended when an African American girl wins a competition. THAT right there is the problem. There are people out there that still believe they’re better than others based on race. These people believe that they merit more and they believe that they’re being cheated if someone of a certain race wins one too many times. If you seriously believe that we should all just forgive Carlotta because she tweeted an apology, then you’re forgetting how serious racism is.
Instead of “moving on” we should be concerned about why that thought even crossed Carlotta’s mind in the first place. We should be concerned with the root cause of her racism and NOT with her public speaking abilities. We should also be concerned about how the FIG punishes this behavior. It’s a daunting and heavy task because that’s the nature of racism, but it’s far more dignified than pretending it never happened. Of course no one is gonna solve racism overnight, but it’s still a good step. The gymnastics community AND the gymternet need to be conscious of how serious this is and in the meantime…idk try to send some love and support to Simone who will benefit from knowing that her fans have her back :) and not just for her sake, but for all African American athletes trying to make it in gymnastics.

P.S. This post has nothing to do with athletic style or preference. If you don’t like Simone’s gymnastics, that’s okay. If you think Carlotta had strong performances at worlds, that’s also okay. The point is that racism is inexcusable and should not be taken lightly or brushed off. Simone deserves reassurance that her race had NOTHING to do with her athletic accomplishments. Thanks for reading.

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