This past Sunday, two-time Olympic gold gymnast Gabrielle Douglas (pictured left) told Oprah Winfrey on her “Next Chapter” show that her teammates at Excalibur Gym in her native Virginia bullied and racially taunted her. Citing alleged “slave” remarks during training, the comments were reportedly behind Douglas’ decision to move to Iowa to continue her gymnastics career. But now, Excalibur Gym is fighting back against Gabby’s claims, saying that “Gabby’s remarks were hurtful and without merit.”
On the “Next Chapter,” Douglas discussed how she was called a “slave” while she trained at Excalibur Gym,”I was just, you know, kind of getting racist jokes, kind of being isolated from the group. So it was definitely hard. I would come home at night and just cry my eyes out.
“One of my teammates was like, ‘Could you scrape the bar?’” Douglas continued. “And they were like, ‘Why doesn’t Gabby do it, she’s our slave?’
“I was the only African American at that gym. I definitely felt isolated. Why am I deserving this? Is it because I’m Black? — those thoughts were going through my mind.”
On Tuesday, Excalibur CEO Gustavo Maure debunked Douglas’ claim, adding that she wasn’t the only African American at the gym, “We’ve had more African Americans in elite and on the national team than any other gym in the country. We are good people. We never were knowingly involved in any type of bullying or racist treatment, like she is accusing Excalibur.”
Watch Excalibur Gym defend themselves against Douglas’ remarks here:
Another gymnast who claims to have trained with Douglas believes “the accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening.” On Gymnewstics.com, Randy Stageburg says she saw “Dena [head coach Dena Walker] and Gustavo put so much of their time and effort in to Gabby and the other athletes, no matter their race.”
What do you think about Gabby’s statements and Excalibur’s response?
1. @_raiiney helping me put the sausage veggie medley into the processor earlier today for the @tylerflorence stuffing/spatchcock turkey! #success …
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2. Orange Glazed Chicken Wings… First test. #hometestkitchen #theseasonedlife
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3. Jerk turkey w mashed nutmeg squash. Sweet and savory! #theseasonedlife … (Side note: the portions are small because they’re tasting plates, eating all day LOL) 🐷💛💛💛
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4. Done! Black pepper beef and broccoli, curry fried rice, honey shrimp and chicken lettuce wraps…. #homemade #theseasonedlife no takeout, takeout.
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5. Made these insane porterhouse steaks with shallot and garlic. #theseasonedlife
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6. Celebrating the oscars and my first go round as a judge on #grocerygames by using my Parmesan wheel @wholefoods gifted me!!! Pasta Carbonara w scratch made pasta!!!! (Tune in at 8pm west coast!!! On @foodnetwork )
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7. Dinner is in full effect… Seafood pasta on its way.
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8. Done! 😋😋😋
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9. Perfectly southern with a little Cali flare!!! Topped my porchetta biscuit sandwich with a fried egg, red pepper jam, crystal hot sauce mayo and a drizzle of honey! Ahhhhhhhhhhh
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10. Successful test day! They’re sweet, Super sticky and tender. Thanks for tasting @princessmom2363 !!! 😊😊😍
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11. #theseasonedlife sweet chili shrimp with jicama, Serrano and a whole lot of love. Quick 10 minute dish. No #iceberg or #butterlettuce at the grocery store! What great travesty. 😂😂🤓
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12. Before the roasting began! @amandahaascooks thank you so much for making our Christmas wishes come true alongside @williamssonoma #primerib
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13. My pea soup with Kerrygold herb butter seared scallops!!!! #christmas2015 #theseasonedlife
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14. My Lobster Salad w Spicy Serrano Avocado dressing! #FTW I think this one will more than pass for the cookbook! Sooo much flavor! In a salad at that!
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15. Pillows of warm toasty mallow, pecans and brown sugar. Sweet potato casserole. #classic