Gabby Douglas Was Bullied, Called 'Slave' by Fellow Gymnasts in Virginia

Long before the appalling national conversation about her hair, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas faced racism and bullying from her fellow gymnasts in Virginia.

In an interview on Oprah's Next Chapter, Douglas opened up about the verbal abuse she endured.

I was just, you know, kind of getting racist jokes, kind of being isolated from the group. So it was definitely hard. I would come home at night and just cry my eyes out ... I was the only African-American at that gym. I definitely felt isolated. Why am I deserving this? Is it because I'm black? — those thoughts were going through my mind.

Recalling one specific incident, Douglas said that a teammate said, "Why doesn't Gabby do it? She's our slave."

It got so bad that Douglas told her mother Natalie Hawkins she wanted to quit. At that point, Hawkins allowed her daughter to move from Virginia to Iowa.

[Image via AP]