Simone Biles has spoken out against the viral video of a young Black gymnast who appeared to be snubbed during a medal ceremony in Ireland.
The incident occurred at a GymStart event in March 2022 but recirculated on social media last week, CNN reports. In the video, a row of girls were presented with medals while the lone Black gymnast was skipped over.
“When this video was circulating, her parents reached out,” Biles wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday (September 22). “It broke my heart to see, so I sent her a little video. There is no room for racism in any sport or at all.”
In a statement, Gymnastics Ireland said it had received a complaint about the alleged act of racism following the event and a resolution was reached last month.
“The official in question accepted fully that what had happened had not been acceptable but stressed that it had not been intentional,” Friday's statement from Gymnastics Ireland reads. “The official concerned said that upon realising the mistake they immediately rectified it and ensured that the competitor concerned was presented with her medal before she left the Field of Play.”
According to the statement, the official also expressed "deep regret" for the "honest error" that occurred. A request to apologize in person to the gymnast and her family was initially denied, the statement read.
“A written apology provided by the identified individual has since been issued to the competitor and her family."
The gymnast's mother told the Irish Independent last week that a resolution wasn't reached and the apology wasn't "genuine."
“We are often the only Black family at gymnastics events and this has been very hurtful for us,” the mother said. “Now eight million people have seen the video. From Pakistan to Ethiopia they can see this was wrong but Gymnastics Ireland still can’t accept it and say sorry.”
On Monday (September 25), Gymnastics Ireland released a follow-up statement to CNN saying, “We would like to unreservedly apologise to the gymnast and her family for the upset that has been caused by the incident at the GymStart event in March 2022.
“What happened on the day should not have happened and for that we are deeply sorry. We are also sorry that what has happened since that date has caused further upset.