Video: Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Tells Oprah About Racist Teammates
But, the Excalibur Gym in Virginia is fighting back against the claims, stating that “Gabby’s remarks were hurtful and without merit.”
During her Oprah interview, Gabby Douglas discussed how she was called a “slave” while training at the Excalibur Gym, stating, “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.
“One of my teammates was like, ‘Could you scrape the bar?’” Douglas continued. “And they were like, ‘Why doesn’t Gabby do it, she’s our slave?’
“I was the only African American at that gym. I definitely felt isolated. Why am I deserving this? Is it because I’m Black? — those thoughts were going through my mind.”
On Tuesday, Excalibur CEO Gustavo Maure debunked Douglas’ claim, adding that she wasn’t the only African American at the gym.
Maure said, “We’ve had more African Americans in elite and on the national team than any other gym in the country. We are good people. We never were knowingly involved in any type of bullying or racist treatment, like she is accusing Excalibur.”
Another gymnast that trained with Gabby Douglas believes “the accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening.”
One gymnast reveals, “Dena [head coach Dena Walker] and Gustavo put so much of their time and effort in to Gabby and the other athletes, no matter their race.”