This girl is a champion. Though the “hair controversy” was horrible, I had hoped this was the first time Gabby’s race had been an issue. Unfortunately, any person of color (including myself) knows that race will inevitably be an issue at certain points in your life. While it’s heartbreaking, it isn’t surprising that Gabby was subjected to racially-motivated bullying by some of her fellow gymnasts.
Gabby tells Oprah that some of her peers would refer to her as their “slave”. I don’t think there is an insult lower or more offensive (other than the “N-word”) that you could call someone who is African American. It’s no secret that gymnastics are super competitive, so maybe some insecure girls felt like they had to hurt Gabby because she is such a skilled athlete? Maybe they were envious and wanted to bring her down a notch for their own selfish reasons? But to sink so low, to make the issue about race, to alienate someone so much is just horrible.
Gabby ended up moving hundreds of miles away to train in Iowa because of the bullying. We all know it worked out. We all know that Gabby has the last laugh. We now know that she is not just physically strong, but strong in character for dealing with the issue, moving on, and coming out on top.
What do you think of Gabby’s bullying? Let us know in the comments!