Simone Manuel, fresh on the heels of her history-making Summer Olympics win, has become the talk of the sports world as the first Black woman to win an Olympic medal in an individual event for the United States. Manuel, who barely contained her emotions when she won the 100M freestyle event, took time Thursday night to speak out against police brutality.
USA Today reports:
“It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality,” Manuel said. “This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. My color just comes with the territory.”
Manuel considers herself a reluctant public figure and tried to shy away from the responsibility of being a Black swimmer in a sport dominated by whites and other races.
“It is something I’ve definitely struggled with a lot,” Manuel said. “Coming into the race I tried to take weight of the black community off my shoulders. It’s something I carry with me. I want to be an inspiration, but I would like there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the black swimmer.’
What might surprise many is the incredibly woke stance 20-year-old Texas native has taken, considering she hasn’t been much of a media firebrand in times past.
The beauty of her expression, however, is that she’s correct in saying she deserved to get the win and her race should not be the first thing people notice but rather her formidable athletic ability. Kudos to Manuel for speaking her mind freely and gracefully winning like the champion she is.
Photo: screen cap