Olympian Simone Manuel Says Lack Of Racial Inclusivity Makes Her Feel Excluded As A Black Swimmer
While Manuel says she doesn't mind answering race-related questions, she believes the responsibility shouldn't just be on the shoulders of Black athletes.
July 24, 2020 at 2:04 pm
Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel is using her platform to speak out about racial injustices that she said make her feel excluded from the sport of swimming.
Despite all of her accolades, Manuel told CBS News she still feels ostracized and believes it’s because of “the climate of the world we live in."
"Sadly, there still is racism that exists," she said.
She said the sport "definitely has a long way to go when you're talking about diversity and inclusion.”
According to Swimming World, a 2014 report by USA Swimming found that only 1% of its athletes identified as Black. About 55% of athletes did not disclose their ethnicity during the survey.
A 2019 report about the organization found that of its 327,337 athletes, 0.6% of men and 0.8% of women are Black. About 34% of athletes did not complete the demographics section of the survey.
Manuel's parents hired a sports psychologist for her when she made the USA Swimming National Team at 15 because they knew the adversity she would face.
“I knew this kid was going to have to deal with a lot,” her mom, Sharron, told Sports Illustrated. “And a lot will be expected.”
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