The Mercury News published a terrible Twitter headline on Thursday evening when Simone Manuel won the gold for the women's 100m freestyle. She became the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in swimming Thursday night, tying for gold with Penny Oleksiak of Canada. Manuel and Oleksiak both touched the wall in 52.70 seconds, breaking the Olympic record by one one-hundredth of a second.
The headline, perhaps intended to note a historic night for two American athletes, truly missed the mark:
Twitter users immediately pointed out the unfortunate choice of words:
The Mercury News issued an apology for the original tweet:
Manuel told USA Today that she understands why her race will be mentioned along with her win. And while she hopes to encourage more African-Americans to the sport, she ultimately just wants to be recognized as a champion:
Coming into the race I tried to take 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.'
Congrats to gold medalist Simone Manuel. She's more than earned it.