Olympic gold medalist Sunisa “Suni” Lee is opening up about the harsh reaction the Hmong-American community has had after she went Instagram official with her boyfriend and football player, Jaylin Smith.
The couple went public with their romance the day after Christmas by posting a series of adorable pictures posing in black hoodies together. Take a look!
A post shared by Sunisa Lee (@sunisalee)
A post shared by Gbg (@jayliinn.1k)
Unfortunately, it now sounds like not everyone was happy to see the Dancing with the Stars contestant find love, which may suggest why she disabled comments on her post.
One of the 18-year-old’s fans took to TikTok at the end of last month to share a message of support for the young lovers. In the video, the user gave a thumbs-up to a photo of the pair, adding:
“I know that Sunisa will be judged by certain eyes in the Hmong Community because her man is Black. LOVE is LOVE, no matter what race or gender you are. Keep doing you QUEEN.”
I know that Sunisa will be judged by certain eyes in the Hmong Community because her man is Black. LOVE is LOVE, no matter what race or gender you are. Keep doing you QUEEN ✨ #hmong #hmongtiktok #hmonggirl #hmongsong #hmongcheck #hmongfyp #fyp #foryou #foryourpage
♬ H.K.I.T. – Chenning Xiong
Well, that was exactly what Suni needed to hear! The gymnast took to the comments section of the post to thank the follower for the kind video and also get candid about the hate she’s received since sharing the news that she’s dating the University of Southern California football player. Lee wrote:
“This makes me so happy. I’ve received so much hate they support me when it’s beneficial for them never when it comes to my happiness. thank you!”
Ugh. So sad that she’s had to deal with such hurtful comments when she was just trying to share a piece of her heart with the world. Worse, this isn’t even the first time Suni has made headlines for being the victim of hate. The Auburn University freshman opened up last year about an awful anti-Asian attack she and her friends experienced.
Speaking to PopSugar, the Minnesota native explained that she was waiting for a ride with a group of all Asian friends when a passing car yelled racist slurs at them. One woman allegedly told them to “go back to where they came from” and another person sprayed pepper spray on Suni’s arm. Reflecting on the heartbreaking moment, Lee told the outlet:
“I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off.”
Her place in the public eye also influenced how she reacted to the racist attack, she added:
“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.”
Anti-Asian hate has escalated ever since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in large part because of former President Donald Trump. It’s saddening to hear that Suni is being blasted by her own community just because she’s fallen in love with someone of a different race. The hate seriously needs to stop.
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