Two Black Olympians named Simone earned gold medals in their respective sports yesterday and as Twitter quickly congratulated them, they also took aim at Gabby Douglas for supposed shade. Gymnast Simone Biles won the women’s individual all-around gold while Swimmer Simone Manuel made history in the women’s 100 meter freestyle that night.
Users stood behind the Team USA champions and many remarked they wanted to change their names to Simone or give it to their children.
Track-and-field Olympian Darrell Hill said he would name his daughter Simone because of the “magic attached to it.”
Naming my daughter Simone. Name seems to have some magic attached to it.
— Darrell Hill (@B1GHomie) August 12, 2016
Khalid Pitts made a prediction that the name will be the most popular girls’ name next year.
— Khalid Pitts (@KhalidPitts) August 12, 2016
Jennifer wished she shared the same name as the Black Olympians to get some #BlackGirlMagic.
I wish my name was Simone just so I can get a piece of this #BlackGirlMagic
— Jennifer W (@JennWright2793) August 12, 2016
And Jason Reynolds announced a decision on his moniker.
I’ve decided to change my name…to Simone.
— Jason Reynolds (@JasonReynolds83) August 12, 2016
Amid the congratulatory tweets, Manuel told USA Today in a post-race interview she was aware of the impact her first place finish had in the Black community, especially with continued police brutality. But she ultimately wanted the focus of her win to go beyond her blackness.
The Stanford student said she tried to take away some of the pressure of the Black community and hoped for a day when her race isn’t the focus of her achievements.
“Coming into the race I tried to take [the] weight of the Black community off my shoulders. It’s something I carry with me. I want to be an inspiration, but I would like there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the Black swimmer.’ ”
“The title of Black swimmer suggests that I am not supposed to win golds or break records,” she continued. “But that’s not true because I train hard and want to win just like everyone else.”
When it came to Biles, Olympic viewers took notice of Douglas’s supposed irritation with the 19-year-old’s win. As teammates Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez gave Biles a standing ovation, Douglas applauded from her seat.
Madison Garrett thought the 2012 women’s all-around champion should have tried to “smile and pretend to be happy” for her Final Five teammate.
— Madison Garrett (@rosegold_maddie) August 12, 2016
Zoe wrote Douglas a note from the Black community.
Dear Gabby Douglas,
Be happy for Simone Biles
The black community
— Zoe (@YourFavoriteZoe) August 12, 2016
But some came to Douglas’ defense.
Abigaelle Coly called pitting the gymnasts against each other “disgusting.”
— Abigaelle Coly (@Abi_Iam) August 12, 2016
@cchuges611 pointed out the cameras caught the athlete in a quick moment and it didn’t mean she was jealous.
— His Purple Honey (@cchughes611) August 12, 2016
@kyiiaa_ didn’t blame Douglas and wanted everyone to “leave her alone.”
#GabbyDouglas is a role model and honestly i don't blame her for being "salty" . Can you flip on a 4in beam everyday ? LEAVE HER ALONE .
— lakyiaa✨ (@kyiiaa__) August 12, 2016
Mika believed the three-time Olympic gold medalist did not owe the public anything after her past accomplishments.
#GabbyDouglas don't owe this country shit else she doesn't owe Aly or Simone shit else nothing nada your expectations mean nothing
— Mika (@thatssomika) August 12, 2016