Culture

Olympic Gymnast Suni Lee Was Pepper-Sprayed in Racist Attack

“I didn’t want to do anything that could get me into trouble. I just let it happen.”

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Olympic Gymnast Suni Lee Was Pepper-Sprayed in Racist Attack

“I didn’t want to do anything that could get me into trouble. I just let it happen.”

Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee experienced an unfortunate racist attack earlier this month during a night out with her friends in Los Angeles.

The 18-year-old athlete told PopSugar that while she and her group — who are all of Asian descent — were waiting for their Uber ride, a car passed by and the people in it yelled out racial slurs like “ching chong.” One passenger added, “Go back to where you came from,” while another sprayed Lee’s arm with pepper spray. “I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off,” Lee told PopSugar in an interview. “I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Asian hate crimes have seen a significant increase. Over 9,000 incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate from March 19, 2020 to June 30, 2021, while around 4,500 incidents occurred in the first six months of this year.

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