Suni Lee recently revealed as more things change, more things stay the same.
The Asian Olympic gymnast told Popsugar the details of a racist attack she found herself being on the other side of. A week prior to her Popsugar interview, Lee waited for an Uber with a group of friends, who are all Asian. While waiting, a group sped by in a car shouting “ching chong” and insisted they should “go back where they came from.” Lee told the outlet one passenger pepper sprayed her arm as they drove off.
“I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off,” Lee told the outlet. “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.”
Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations recently released an annual report that showed Asian crimes in the area have increased 76%, according to multiple reports. The rising acts of hate are believed to line up with the spreading of misinformation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The attack came months after Lee won her first gold medal at this past summer’s Olympic games in Tokyo. Lee told the publication after her win, her life changed “overnight.” This past fall, she moved into her dorm at Auburn University before suddenly leaving when approached with the opportunity to perform on “Dancing with the Stars” this season.
Lee still plans to be a gymnast on Auburn’s team this season.