On Thursday night, Simone Manuel made history as the first African-American woman to win gold in an individual swimming race ever. But as I waited anxiously for her gold medal ceremony, NBC quickly shuffled to other races that were going on and severely delayed her medal ceremony for almost an hour later.
And while an hour in retrospect isn’t the same thing as them completely delaying her gold medial ceremony to the next day, I definitely had a moment where I thought to myself am I being sensitive or is this as disrespectful as I think it is. I mean she made history, and was shocked when she won because she knew the weight that was on her shoulders during that race.
What made it worse was that an Olympic executive named John Miller said, “The people who watch the Olympics are not particularly sports fans. More women watch the games than men, and for the women, they’re less interested in the result and more interested in the journey. It’s sort of like the ultimate reality show and miniseries wrapped in one.” It’s incredibly insulting and disgusting that an executive doesn’t think that women and their love of sports can co-exist, and not making Simone Manuel a priority was a huge mistake. Really all I have to say to this is to quote Jesse Williams by saying, “Just because we’re magic does not mean were not real.”