Suni Lee, an Olympic gold medalist, revealed that she faced “so much hate” and racism online after sharing a photo announcing her new relationship with boyfriend Jaylin Smith.

As the first Asian American gymnast to win the All-Around competition at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games, Lee was no stranger to vitriol from social media detractors, but the 18-year-old is still having a difficult time dealing with the unnecessary hate.

Posting a photo to her Instagram of her and boyfriend Jaylin Smith embracing in matching black hoodies, she revealed that the Hmong community had made several racist attacks against her and Smith, simply just because her boyfriend was Black.

Coming to the Hmong American gymnasts defense, a TikTok video created by user @alixphom, whose real name is Alix, addressed the racist attacks by clapping for the couple and giving them the thumbs up.

“I know that Sunisa will be judged by certain eyes in the Hmong Community because her man is Black,” he wrote in the caption, “LOVE is LOVE, no matter what race or gender you are. Keep doing you QUEEN.”

He also added the hashtag “#hmongtiktok” in hope of it circulating in the community. On his profile, he describes himself as half Hmong, with “Love is Love” written on his page’s bio.

@alixphom

I know that Sunisa will be judged by certain eyes in the Hmong Community because her man is Black. LOVE is LOVE, no matter what race or gender you are. Keep doing you QUEEN ✨ #hmong #hmongtiktok #hmonggirl #hmongsong #hmongcheck #hmongfyp #fyp #foryou #foryourpage

♬ H.K.I.T. – Chenning Xiong

“The hmong community still has a long way to go,” one commenter wrote. “I’m here for her.”

“They are a cute couple!” another viewer said. “I don’t understand why people can’t let others love who they want and be happy for them.”

With over 529,000 views and 57,000 likes, the TikTok video eventually reached Suni Lee, who let Alix know how much she appreciated the support.

“This makes me so happy,” the Olympic gymnast wrote. “I’ve received so much hate 😭 they support me when it’s beneficial for them never when it comes to my happiness. thank you!”

Suni Lee and her gymnastics gold medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Suni Lee and her gymnastics gold medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Photo Credit: Instagram

Suni Lee, a freshman at Auburn University, also recently competed in Dancing with the Stars alongside JoJo Siwa and Iman Shumpert.

After her acknowledgment, many fans began to show their support, even calling Lee and Smith a power couple, since Jaylin Smith is a star USC college football player.

“Keep doing you girl!,” one fan wrote. “Those who really support you will back you up and stick by your side no matter what.”

“I knew she was gon get so much hate for this, but I 100% support her and this relationship. I’m glad she happy and they are sooo adorable together,” another fan wrote on TikTok.

Just this past November, the American gymnast was also subject to a racially motivated attack when she was pepper sprayed while waiting for an Uber.

According to Suni, she was out with a bunch of her Asian girlfriends when a group of people sped by and yelled racist slurs such as “ching chong” before hitting her arm with pepper spray and taking off. The racist bullies allegedly said to “go back to where they came from,” but quickly fled the scene without repercussion.

The attack came as hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked during Covid-19, as many racist comments are thrown at the community due to the virus’ alleged outbreak in Wuhan, China.

“I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off,” she told Pop Sugar. “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.”

Forging her next step in life after winning the gold medal for gymnastics, the 18-year-old said, “I’m still trying to find that one thing that I really want.”