By Theresa Waldrop | CNN
American gymnast Suni Lee, Olympic gold medalist and the first American Hmong to compete in the Olympics, said she was pepper sprayed in a racist incident while in Los Angeles for her stint in ” Dancing with the Stars “.
Lee was expecting a ride after a night out with a group of girlfriends who were all Asian, she told PopSugar in an interview.
She said a car passed and people inside started shouting racist slurs like “ching chong” and telling the girls to “go back to where they came from,” according to the report.
Then one of the passengers sprayed his arm with pepper spray before the car took off, Lee said.
Lee confirmed to CNN that the incident happened in October.
âI was so angry, but there was nothing I could do or control because they got around,â Lee told PopSugar.
âI 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 in trouble. I just let it go.
Attacks on Asian Americans exploded during the pandemic. A coalition that tracks racism and discrimination against Asian Americans said at least 4,533 incidents were reported in the first six months of this year.
Over 9,000 incidents were reported to the Stop AAPI Hate coalition from March 19, 2020 to June 30, 2021.