Olympic gymnast Sunisa “Suni” Lee, 18, is happy with her beau, football player Jaylin Smith, 26, but she’s apparently received an abundance of “hate” from those who disapprove of the interracial relationship. In the comment section of a Dec. 30 TikTok video posted by another user which showed support for the couple, Suni revealed the dire situation she’s faced. First, user alixphom wrote in the caption of the post, “I know that Sunisa will be judged by certain eyes in the Hmong Community because her man is Black,” he stated. “LOVE is LOVE, no matter what race or gender you are. Keep doing you QUEEN.”
Suni then shared her appreciation in the comment section, writing, “This makes me so happy. 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 made her relationship with Jaylin public last month with a series of photos shared to her Instagram cuddling and posing with the college football athlete. The gymnast simply captioned the post with a small white heart and the pair looked adorable as they swooned in their love for each other, both wearing black hoodies as they cuddled close.
Suni, who’s a freshman at Auburn University, became well-known last year when she became the first Asian-American female gymnast to win the all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Following the event, the teen returned home to reunite with her loved ones and they all posed for a sweet photo together. For the shot, Suni held up her bronze medal from the uneven bars, her mother Yeev Thoj showed off the athlete’s silver medal that Team USA won in the team all-around, and her father John Lee donned his daughter’s gold medal as champion of the individual all-around. Suni’s siblings were also present for the family photo which Suni captioned with a heart emoji.
Moreover, on the Today Show, the family discussed how proud they were of what the teen accomplished in Tokyo. “I never thought I would ever get one of these,” John said of the gold medal, adding, “She did it, she brought it home. I’m so proud of her, so surprised. Good job.” Meanwhile, Yeev described the “happy tears” she had for Suni’s success. “Seeing her with the gold medal, winning these medals, it makes me happy,” the proud mom said.