Excalibur Gymnastics is speaking out against Gabby Douglas’ comments on being racially bullied at their establishment.
Gabby, who told Oprah about how harsh the other girls were to her during training, almost quit gymnastics due to the trouble she encountered. She commented:
“I was just, you know, kind of getting racist jokes, kind of being isolated from the group… So it was definitely hard. I would come home at night and just cry my eyes out.”
She went on to explain one specific incident:
“One of my teammates was like, ‘Could you scrape the bar?’ And they were like, ‘Why doesn’t Gabby do it, she’s our slave.’”
Excalibur, located in Gabby’s home state of Virginia, seems to be extremely shocked and hurt by Gabby’s interview. Several representatives have said that 16-year-old Gabby was one of their favorites and that if there was any bullying going on, that’s news to them!
Excalibur’s Randy Stageburg stated:
“The accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening. Gabby was never a victim, in fact many would say she was one of the favorites. I never once heard her complain about girls being mean, funny how it is just now coming up.”
Similarly, a fellow gymnast’s mom, Kim Hedeland, commented on the gym’s Facebook page:
“I don’t claim to know everything that happened in the situation with the gym and its gymnast who is now an Olympic athlete, but I do know that my daughter loved her like a sister for 7 years…They were often partnered during training and slept in the same room during travel meets. They attended birthday parties and sleepovers together … My daughter says that she was one of her best friends at the gym and was very sad when she left.”
Excalibur gym maintains that Gabby’s comments are “without merit,” that they are all good people, and that African Americans are more than welcome, as they have “had more African Americans in elite [sic] and on the national team than any other gym in the country.”
So, who do we believe?
SOURCE: Daily News || Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN