Olympian Suni Lee reveals she 'was pepper-sprayed & called racial slurs' days after Tyra Banks 'embarrassed' her on DWTS
11th November 2021

OLYMPIAN Suni Lee says she "was pepper-sprayed and called racial slurs" just weeks after DWTS Tyra Banks incident

Lee says she was with a group of friends "all of Asian descent" in Los Angeles when the incident occurred.


The Dancing with the Stars contestant was allegedly waiting for an Uber when a car sped by.

Slurs and hate speech were hurled at Lee and her friends.

Phrases like "ching chong" were used, according to Lee, who added that she was pepper-sprayed in the incident.

"I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off," she said in an interview.

"I didn't do anything to them," she added.

"I just let it happen."

There has been a reported 150% increase in hate crimes in 2020, according to a study done by the California State University, San Bernardino.

Lee, who is of Hmong heritage, is among a handful of athletes who have spoken out about similar hateful incidents directed their way in recent months.

This comes mere weeks after Lee was ill on an episode of Dancing With The Stars and was embarrassed by host Tyra Banks, who called attention to Lee's illness.

On the November 2 episode of the reality TV competition, Banks riffed after Lee ran offstage immediately following her performance with partner, Sasha Farber.

“Suni is not feeling so good. Not covid! Not covid at all! But she's not feeling well so she danced sick and she had to leave. But she's okay!," Banks said.

Fans were furious with Banks for putting Lee in the hot seat upon returning to the stage.

"Suni, I got to ask you. I know you've been struggling all day and, like, dude is like, you're throwing up. This is live TV and you ran off!," Banks said.

Lee responded by saying she felt "embarrassed."

"I knew that if I didn't come out here I'd be very disappointed in myself," she added.

After the incident, Lee took to social media to give fans an update on the status of her health.

"Mentally I could be better," an Instagram story read in part.

Lee famously won the all-around gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after teammate Simone Biles withdrew from the competition.

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