For Parents So disappointing...

bookworm

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I don't know where to put this so i'll start here.... I am reading the accounts of racism on NCAA teams by teammates and coaches and , maybe I'm naive, but I am shocked , that in 2020, people actually talk and behave like this....from Kennedy Baker and Kytra Hunter on Florida to Ashley Lambert on Nebraska and Tia Kiaku on Alabama recounting how their teammates and some coaches"called them the N word repeatedly" , "back of the bus "comments by more than one coach ; SEMO assistant coach Chris Licamelli's account of his 3 years with that team and numerous accounts of blatant racism that he tried to lobby against only to be told "don't be so sensitive, it must be because you're a Yankee", and the teammates reverted to using the N word again because "(head) Coach says it" .... stunned doesn't begin to cover how I felt reading that...

I'm 60 years old and I can tell you that I've never uttered the N word nor have I have thought to or thought it was ever appropriate in all my years alive so how are gymnasts and coaches who are way younger than me thinking this is ok? I am so sad for these gymnasts who have had to put up with this type of treatment for their time on their college team (and in life , but you'd think NCAA coaches would know better) . I knew NCAA coaches can make it awful and horrible for many reasons but I didn't think hurling racial slurs on a regular basis was one of them ....

If gymnasts of the calibre of Baker and Hunter have been treated like this , I'm sure it happened to many others that just aren't speaking out...and I get that people can have different experiences at the same school but I'm sorry, excusing systemic racism should never be even entertained ....
 
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MILgymFAM

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It’s eye opening, isn’t it. I know that my husband’s eyes have been opened recently- he never believed that there was so much blatant racism in this day and age.. and now he sees it all clearly.
 

cmg

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I don't know where to put this so i'll start here.... I am reading the accounts of racism on NCAA teams by teammates and coaches and , maybe I'm naive, but I am shocked , that in 2020, people actually talk and behave like this....from Kennedy Baker and Kytra Hunter on Florida to Ashley Lambert on Nebraska and Tia Kiaku on Alabama recounting how their teammates and some coaches"called them the N word repeatedly" , "back of the bus "comments by more than one coach ; SEMO assistant coach Chris Licamelli's account of his 3 years with that team and numerous accounts of blatant racism that he tried to lobby against only to be told "don't be so sensitive, it must be because you're a Yankee", and the teammates reverted to using the N word again because "(head) Coach says it" .... stunned doesn't begin to cover how I felt reading that...

I'm 60 years old and I can tell you that I've never uttered the N word nor have I have thought to or thought it was ever appropriate in all my years alive so how are gymnasts and coaches who are way younger than me thinking this is ok? I am so sad for these gymnasts who have had to put up with this type of treatment for their time on their college team (and in life , but you'd think NCAA coaches would know better) . I knew NCAA coaches can make it awful and horrible for many reasons but I didn't think hurling racial slurs on a regular basis was one of them ....

If gymnasts of the calibre of Baker and Hunter have been treated like this , I'm sure it happened to many others that just aren't speaking out...and I get that people can have different experiences at the same school but I'm sorry, excusing systemic racism should never be even entertained ....
I am 60 years old too and have never said the N word either. It is appalling. There is no excuse for this behavior. With the NFL finally admitting that they were wrong, perhaps this can lead all sports to rethink how they treat all their athletes and work harder to eliminate racism.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I had a similar reaction. I do occasionally see the smaller racist comments - things about fried chicken, etc, but I have not ever heard anyone (white) use the n word. I did go to a high school and college where there was no majority race, and you could not have gotten away with using the n word. I am wondering where the girls came from that it is not only acceptable to the one who said it, but went unchallenged by EVERYONE else? WTF?

Alexis Brown from UC-Davis was on Gymcastic this week, talking about her experiences and how her teammates and coaches treated her during the time she was competing and kneeling during the national anthem. How after weeks, they called a "meeting" for her to talk about her experiences, but she was the only black face in the room and no one was interested in listening to what she had to say. It's heartbreaking. I can't imagine how intimidating that would be.
 

bookworm

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1. I am wondering where the girls came from that it is not only acceptable to the one who said it, but went unchallenged by EVERYONE else? WTF?

2. Alexis Brown from UC-Davis was on Gymcastic this week, talking about her experiences and how her teammates and coaches treated her during the time she was competing and kneeling during the national anthem. How after weeks, they called a "meeting" for her to talk about her experiences, but she was the only black face in the room and no one was interested in listening to what she had to say.
1. And not only did the use of the N word go unchallenged, the athletes that said they didn't want to be called that were ignored! Ashley Lambert's account on IG says how when she got to Nebraska , her fellow black teammate (as in they were the only 2) says to her "I'm just letting you know, our teammate calls us the N word all the time and I can't get her to stop " ...... this "teammate" should have been tossed but when Kendig (the HC) is telling Ashley that she likes it there in the back of the bus, the racism is pretty pervasive.

2. Alexis Brown had a story online about how at a meet she knelt at , she was being heckled and pointed at by gymnast parents in the stands ! After the meet she went into the stands to ask the spectators if they wanted to know why she was kneeling and they reportedly said to her "we've cheered for a black gymnast from LSU so we don't need any explanation" .... the next week she was called into coach's office and told she couldn't dialog with fans in the stands anymore (just her, and including her parents if they were there) , and she was shunned by the team for the rest of her time there .... gee, what's not to love about NCAA gymnastics?!
 

cmg

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1. And not only did the use of the N word go unchallenged, the athletes that said they didn't want to be called that were ignored! Ashley Lambert's account on IG says how when she got to Nebraska , her fellow black teammate (as in they were the only 2) says to her "I'm just letting you know, our teammate calls us the N word all the time and I can't get her to stop " ...... this "teammate" should have been tossed but when Kendig (the HC) is telling Ashley that she likes it there in the back of the bus, the racism is pretty pervasive.

2. Alexis Brown had a story online about how at a meet she knelt at , she was being heckled and pointed at by gymnast parents in the stands ! After the meet she went into the stands to ask the spectators if they wanted to know why she was kneeling and they reportedly said to her "we've cheered for a black gymnast from LSU so we don't need any explanation" .... the next week she was called into coach's office and told she couldn't dialog with fans in the stands anymore (just her, and including her parents if they were there) , and she was shunned by the team for the rest of her time there .... gee, what's not to love about NCAA gymnastics?!
Makes you realize that if you are looking for your daughter to compete at the college level, going to a college that is anti-racist is just one more thing to look at. But the only way to know is to hear stories like this, which most people never hear. I am disappointed in these college teams.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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The article that's out today about Florida: https://www.espn.com/college-sports...XCQkLPJNxJW0pBcqFMmTlGiODnsX-GbL2_hkkc2QyjDbc

Honestly, I don't read this and think ANYTHING will improve there. Coaches pretending they had NO IDEA this was happening, they're "heartbroken" to hear these stories from their gymnasts. The coach saying they had a video call and it's probably the most important moments of her life, everything is better now, blah, blah. People who feel secure enough in their racism to act this way do not have their hearts changed in a video call.
 

bogwoppit

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So hard to imagine those 18 years olds leaving their homes and going away to schools that actively support and participate in racist acts. Not stopping this is utterly disgusting. I am sure it was a brutal initiation into college sports. Those girls needed to feel like part of a team, and they were subjected to racism and abuse, with no support from anyone.
 

lostinfog

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Just read Kytra’s story. Wow another black mark and eye for Faehn. I personally have met Kiaku and her mother a few years back as well and happensed to see her story last night. It is sad that women go after other women and don’t support each other. You would think after years of hard work and making it to L10 and NCAA they’d share a special bond. I am wondering where these young adults on NCAA teams were taught or think it is acceptable to use the N word.
 
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Sk8ermaiden

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What is up with these racists and "back of the bus jokes?!?!?" https://www.al.com/alabama/2020/06/...says-assistant-coach-made-racist-comment.html
I found this one because at least one Alabama gymnast is already excusing the racism on Twitter. Even though she wasn't there when it happened. Alexis Brown had one too, as well as the Florida gymnasts.

Just read Kytra’s story. Wow another black mark and eye for Faehn. I personally have met Kiaku and her mother a few years back as well and happensed to see her story last night. It is sad that women go after other women and don’t support each other. You would think after years of hard work and making it to L10 and NCAA they’d share a special bond. I am wondering where these young adults on NCAA teams were taught or think it is acceptable to use the N word.
You know, I keep wondering this too. Obviously the n word is not the end-all be-all and there is a lot of racism that comes from people who would would never use that slur. But to me, it's so well known in society that it is never acceptable to use, that its use would basically signal to me that you're probably cool with the Klan and cross burnings too. And yet all these women are using it out in the open, to black people, in public? Where the heck are they from that flew? How can ALL of them on a team be OK being involved in that?

I saw a picture once on one of the Facebook groups, of a gymnastics team that was 50-60 tiny, white, blond girls. It was startling. It's not an excuse, but I wonder if any these gymnasts come from environments like that. Because on my daughter's team, where only 25% of the optionals team is white, the use of a racial slur would never, ever fly, and I can't imagine someone who used one would ever have a comfortable place on the team again. When I read stories like this, I keep thinking, homogeneity is not our friend.
 
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bookworm

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From another story I read, Faehn only called the meeting cited because Hunter was talking about transferring if something wasn't done...and notice it's not until Kytra 's senior year , when it's too late to transfer.

And to Bog's point about 18 yo going away to schools that actively support and participate in racist acts, if you read the responses the black athlete gets when asking them to stop...."I'm not racist, I like Obama and Oprah , you're too sensitive, move on , you must be a Yankee etc" ...the racists don't see themselves as such and don't see any need to change .... so it happens to Kytra in 2014, Kennedy in 2018 and Tia in 2020 and who knows who's next or has had it already happen...
 

Flippin'A

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Even after everything that's come out in the gymnastics world this was still shocking to me as well. It's the same old story-- gymnasts aren't listened to. They're told to shut up and do their jobs. They're convinced that they aren't experts on their own experience or that they're the problem. It's absolutely heartbreaking and I'm so tired of feeling heart broken for gymnasts. And this time a large amount of the abuse is coming from teammates in addition to coaches. I'm glad these amazing women are speaking up now, but I hate that it took a massive social movement to make them feel comfortable coming forward. The number of major cultural shifts this sport needs just keeps getting longer.
 

bookworm

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And it continues....Kennedy Finnister of Auburn via Twitter with how she "never competed in one meet there but showed up to practice and be part of the team and was called the N word repeatedly by her teammates , with no repercussions for the behavior" .... coaches ignored the abhorrent behavior and SHE was threatened by people because "saying something makes Coach look bad" ... um really? If you're all so happy with your vocabulary choices , then it shouldn't make him "look bad" and if it does (and it should!) , then stop calling your black teammates the N word because here's a tip, it doesn't just "look bad", it IS bad ....

And maybe it's my naivete again but I always think of gymnasts as "good girls" , rule followers (which of course got the sport into trouble with the sexual abuse ) but thinking of my daughters' fellow competitors as racist, epithet hurling on a daily basis athletes NEVER crossed my mind ....and that they don't think it is wrong....how does one even respond?
 

mommyof1

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This behavior shocks the conscience, but sadly it doesn’t really surprise me. Racist behavior on the part of the coach is yet another means of asserting control over the athletes. Permitting or encouraging racism among the athletes also helps the coach maintain control by pitting the athletes against one another so they are less likely to unite against the authoritarian regime.
 

cmg

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This behavior shocks the conscience, but sadly it doesn’t really surprise me. Racist behavior on the part of the coach is yet another means of asserting control over the athletes. Permitting or encouraging racism among the athletes also helps the coach maintain control by pitting the athletes against one another so they are less likely to unite against the authoritarian regime.
I agree it starts with the coach. I was just thinking that if I was coaching I would let everyone know that if I ever heard and "N" word uttered from anyone they would be off the team that instant. There just can be no tolerance for that kind of racism. I don't care if it was the best gymnast on the team or the worst or another coach. Obviously it was tolerated and then it became pervasive. I think that gymnasts ought to be able to transfer without losing any eligibility if they are leaving due to racism on the team. Step up NCAA.
 

gymgal

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I am *not surprised by some of this. The N word is pervasive in parts of the music industry and is popping up more in movie/video. If students go to racially diverse schools they are hearing it in the halls because black youth use it a lot with their friends, so these kids are growing up with it. Even worse, if they don't go to racially diverse schools, they are only hearing it through media and don't understand the gravity of it because no one sits them down to discuss how words/comments take on a whole different context depending on who is speaking them and who is the recipient of those words. Sure schools all have diversity training now but it is very superficial. Treat everyone the same. Don't exclude anyone. What they don't tackle are the hot button topics, like why certain comments can be so offensive.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I don't buy that at all. I'm not sure what cave someone would have to be living in that they didn't know it was not OK. Even if you just consume the music and movies, any reasonably intelligent person can see that white people aren't the ones saying it.

I would challenge you to find any white person from a racially diverse school who thought that word would be OK to say. In my not-a-white-majority high school/university I would have been literally beaten.

I do agree though that diversity training in many (especially white majority) places is a joke. When I went to the University of Houston, which is extremely diverse, in the most diverse city in the country, the diversity training was pretty reasonably robust for a mandatory half day seminar. If you bring in people from other places who have not experienced other cultures and colors before and don't give them pretty explicit instructions, you're going to have serious problems fast. I honestly don't think that the kind of people who use raical slurs are going to stop because of diversity training at a school though. IMO/E, they know they're being awful and they don't care.
 

Ty’s Dad

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Black people in on this forum are not surprised at all. This type of stuff happens all the time in every sport. Thank you for now trying to understand and to see how we are treated, but it happens a lot. **** I was called a big Ape in this group a couple months ago and nobody but one person said anything. Just some people are more open about their racism then others, a lot hide it
 

cmg

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Black people in on this forum are not surprised at all. This type of stuff happens all the time in every sport. Thank you for now trying to understand and to see how we are treated, but it happens a lot. **** I was called a big Ape in this group a couple months ago and nobody but one person said anything. Just some people are more open about their racism then others, a lot hide it
I do remember that, I know I was appalled, but now I know better to be more vocal. I hope your experiences on this forum improve.
 
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