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Another Gator gymnast reveals that she faced racism from her own teammates

(WCJB)
Published: Jun. 6, 2020 at 8:55 PM EDT
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Another former Florida gymnast revealed that she faced racism from her team as a black athlete.

Kytra Hunter, who competed for the Gators from 2012-2015, said her teammates often said racist things to her.

Hunter is one of Florida's most accomplished gymnasts. She is a Honda Award winner, a 25-time All-American, a four-time individual NCAA national champion, and a three-time team NCAA champion.

Hunter's reveal comes shortly after fellow former Florida gymnast Kennedy Baker, who competed from 2015-18,

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However, Hunter did make it clear that none of the current UF staff members, coaches, or gymnasts on the current team played a part in the racist acts.

"Are you going to cater fried chicken and watermelon to your wedding"

or "we saved you a seat in the back of the bus", were some of the racist comments Hunter received from teammates.

The other athletes also made derogatory comments about black women's hair and often said the N-word.

Finally her senior year, then head coach Rhonda Faehn, organized a team meeting after Hunter brought up her concerns about the racism for years. However, the meeting did not feel genuine according to Hunter.

"It honestly felt like another day in the classroom on a topic no one seemed to take seriously. It felt like they were checking a box so I would be quiet." Hunter said.

After the meeting, Hunter said she received insincere apologies with the other gymnasts saying things like "you know I'm not racist".

"I remember sitting in the stadium crying. Crushed, Crushed to the point that I could not wait to be off the team. My days became a blur. The racial slurs did not stop." Hunter said.

Current Gator gymnastics coach, Jenny Rowland who never coached Kytra, reached out to her and praised her for sharing her rough experience on social media.

"Thank you for sharing your voice, Kyt. I know this was not easy for you. Please know you are always welcome (with open ears and arms) to share and visit with the Gators anytime!" Rowland said.

The current Gators gymnastics team acknowledges the past acts that have happened and they have said that they are committed to making a cultural change.

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