Simone Biles gets hair-shamed after cheerleading cameo: 'You need some black friends'

Simone Biles is an all-around Olympic gold medalist, and since winning big as a gymnast in 2016, she has gained a continually growing fanbase. The 20-year-old made her debut as the first honorary Houston Texans cheerleader on Sunday when her hometown team played the San Fransisco 49ers. While she is super excited about her latest gig, internet trolls still found something to shame her for.

People are hair shaming Simone Biles, and it's not cool. (Photo: Getty Images)
People are hair shaming Simone Biles, and it’s not cool. (Photo: Getty Images)

Eager to share her enthusiasm, Biles uploaded a photo of herself wearing a Texans sweatshirt and her hair worn loosely on Twitter, with the caption: “Can’t wait to cheer at my first game. GO HOUSTON TEXANS !!” Her post received love from more than 34,000 people and was shared more than 2,000 times. While many individuals left encouraging comments such as “Slay, Simone! Have a great time” and “Good luck!!! Hope you enjoy the experience,” there were many overshadowing remarks regarding Biles’s hair.

One person took to Twitter and said, “Baby … Your hair … You need some black friends,” and since posting, the tweet has gone viral with more than 20,000 retweets and more than 46,000 likes. Others flooded Biles’s feed sharing similar sentiments, with statements such as “I really cringe when I see a pretty black girl with hair not laid to some decree” and “She got too much money to b walking round like that.”

With all the backlash over Biles’s hair, she remained lighthearted and mature about the situation by responding to one person by simply saying, “just came straight from a 4 hour practice w/my hair in a bun, excuse my hair … hahah.”

There were others who came to Biles’s defense as well, collectively explaining that the attention shouldn’t be on her hair but on her talent.

This isn’t the first time a young woman of color has been hair-shamed by the internet. Fellow Olympian Gabby Douglas faced lots of trolling about her hairstyles while competing for the gold medal during the 2012 London Games, and the topic around her hair resurfaced in 2016.

These women are practicing day in and day out, attempting to be the best athletes they can be while setting an example for those who aspire to follow in their footsteps. Although we’d imagine hair would be the last thing anyone is focused on, vanity seems to constantly outweigh performance.

When will this change?

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