|Gabrielle with her Team USA mates (who didn't call her a 'slave')|
Ex-teammates even expected her to clean up after them: "She says that the she experienced the most disrespect at her hometown gym in [Virginia Beach,] Virginia, where she alleges that another girl once quipped that Douglas was her 'slave.' 'I definitely felt isolated. I felt, why am I deserving this?' said Douglas. 'Is it because I’m black? Like, those thoughts would go through my mind.' The unpleasant atmosphere in Virginia forced Douglas to relocate to Iowa [at age 14], where her career really began to take off."
The New York Daily News provides some more information about Ms. Douglas's interview with Oprah Winfrey: "'The 16-year-old's mother, Natalie Hawkins, also sat in on the Oprah interview, and chimed in that Douglas had brought up the bullying before, though the young gymnast kept a lot of things to herself. 'There were some things that were going on that she was sharing with me and some things that she wasn't because she knew how I would react,' Hawkins told the talk show host. But the concerned mother recognized that the problem was something bigger when, at age 14, Douglas told her that she’d reached a breaking point. 'She said, 'I'd rather quit. If I can't move and train and get another coach, I'd rather quit the sport,'' Hawkins said."