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Suni Lee says she was pepper sprayed in racist attack

Suni Lee
Suni Lee reacts to her performance on the uneven bars during the women’s U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials Friday, June 25, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Suni Lee was pepper sprayed in a racist incident while in LA for “Dancing with the Stars.” In a new interview with Pop Sugar: “Suni’s accomplishments don’t make her immune to the painful and dangerous realities of anti-Asian hate in America. With the rate of unprovoked violence against Asian Americans fueled by COVID-19 misinformation continuing to climb across the nation, she tells me she found herself facing a racist attack a week before our conversation. While waiting for an Uber after a night out with her girlfriends, who are all of Asian descent, they were startled by a group speeding by in a car yelling racist slurs like ‘ching chong’ and insisting they ‘go back to where they came from.’ One passenger, Suni says, sprayed her arm with pepper spray as the car sped off. “I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off,” she recalls. ‘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.’ Having grown up in a tight-knit community full of Hmong Americans like herself, she struggles to wrap her head around these hateful crimes. It’s difficult to speak up about uncomfortable topics like racial injustice, especially at her age, but she knows that using her voice makes a difference.’