They ignored her because her skin was black… A video sparks shock and anger as a child was deprived of a medal in front of hundreds of people

A video clip, which was widely circulated on social media, sparked widespread anger, as it shows racist behavior suffered by a black girl while honoring several girls by the Irish Gymnastics Federation, where the official, when distributing the medals, ignored the child and refused . Give her a medal. 

The British newspaper The Guardian reported, Sunday, September 24, 2023, that the video was taken in March 2022, but it did not spread on social networks until recently.

An official from the Australian Gymnastics Federation appeared in the video, and she began distributing medals to the girls. When the official reached the girl, she ignored her, passed her, and did not give her a medal. The brown girl’s eyes continued to follow the official as she distributed the rest of the medals to the other girls. 

The British newspaper indicated that the coach, photographer, and other officials watched the situation without intervening, while the girl was standing in front of hundreds of people from the fans in the stands. 

The British newspaper confirmed that the Irish Gymnastics Federation, 18 months after the incident, did not apologize to the girl’s family, and added that the Federation also did not provide “any commitment in its public statements to investigate the incident, implement anti-racism policies, or improve ways to protect athletes of color.” .

In a statement given to the British newspaper, the girl’s mother expressed her disbelief at the treatment her daughter received, stating, “It is truly unimaginable that a young girl could be subjected to such treatment.” She further highlighted the gymnastics federation’s silence on the incident, emphasizing that their lack of public response only perpetuates the ongoing situation.

The family of the girl further validated that the gymnastics federation declined to participate in the apology and reconciliation session that aimed to bring them together with the responsible official. Additionally, the Irish Gymnastics Federation officials characterized the incident as a “solely personal disagreement” between the family and a single individual.

The incident ignited outrage among several celebrities, including the renowned American gymnast Simone Biles. She reached out to the child’s family, expressing her sympathy and support. The Guardian newspaper also reported on this, sharing a video clip where Biles confirmed her unwavering support for the family.

Biles wrote on her account on the “X” website, commenting on the child’s exposure to the racist situation: “It broke my heart when I saw (the video)… There is no room for racism in any sport or at all.”

Biles was joined by her USA Gymnastics teammate, Olympic silver medalist Jordan Chiles, who said: “This is very painful on so many levels.”

Amidst the growing discontent towards the Irish Gymnastics Federation, the federation stated on Friday, September 22, 2023. In the statement, they acknowledged the concerns raised by the child’s family regarding the incident and mentioned that the responsible official has since offered a written apology to the family.

The federation’s statement claimed that after realizing the error, “it was immediately corrected, and it was confirmed that the competitor (the child) received her medal before she left the field of play.” However, the girl’s mother denied that the federation had offered an apology, and said: “I do not understand why the media continued to say “They apologized.”

The Irish Gymnastics Federation explained on Sunday that it “initially dealt with the incident as an individual complaint,” and that it “only recently realized that the family wanted a public apology” from it, adding that “a letter of apology was sent to the family on Sunday, and that it will be announced on Monday.” .

The girl’s mother responded by saying, “The letter came too late, and did not address the underlying concerns. After this horrific incident, who among us does not think he should apologize? He just sent me a letter this evening. It took more than a year, and after millions of people felt… Of people in the world disgusted.”

The mother added that the apology “is useless to me because it does not address the issues of racism and safety. I would like to hear them say things like that a black child who goes to compete in gymnastics will be safe… but that is not the case.”

The mother also noted that she contacted the police because she was “concerned” that the union’s statement, issued last Friday, “makes her family a target for potential dangers.” 


Hot Topics

Related Articles