Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee was pepper sprayed in a racist attack.
In a new feature for PopSugar, the gymnast — who was the first Hmong American to be named to Team USA — revealed the incident happened in LA while she was waiting for a car.
According to Lee, she was with a group of girlfriends, all of whom happened to be Asian American. However, what was supposed be a fun night out turned into a scary situation when a car of people started hurling racist slurs at them and yelling the women to “go back to where they came from.”
As the car sped off though, one passenger sprayed Lee’s arm with pepper spray, which she said made her “so made, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off.”
“I didn’t do anything to them,” she continued. “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.”
Unfortunately, Lee isn’t the only one to be target in an anti-Asian attack. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes against people of Asian descent have grown exponentially, with the organization Stop AAPI Hate saying it received over 9,000 incident reports since March 19, 2020.
Read Lee’s entire feature here.
Photo via Getty / Laurence Griffiths