Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, which originated in China in 2019, an increasing number of Asian-Americans have reported experiencing racist attacks. Gymnast Suni Lee, who won a gold medal at this year's summer Olympics, revealed that she is no exception.
In an interview with PopSugar, the 18-year-old Dancing with the Stars contestant recalls a recent act of anti-Asian hate involving her and her girlfriends, who are also of Asian descent, as they were waiting for an Uber at night.
Lee says they were startled by a group speeding by in a car yelling racist slurs and epithets while insisting they "go back to where they came from." One passenger, she claims, sprayed her arm with pepper spray as the car sped off.
"I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off," she adds. "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."
Suni recently opened up about the bullying she's received while in Los Angeles for Dancing with the Stars, noting, "I always see a lot of mean comments about me not being able to dance and I need to go home. I feel like they're right. I let them get to me."
Lee tells the outlet that it's difficult to speak up about uncomfortable topics like racial injustice, especially at her age, but she believes that using her voice makes a difference.