Quinn Simmons has mentioned he doesn’t suppose he deserved the suspension for the divisive social media comments made final yr, which noticed the American miss his debut Classics season.
The 19-year-old additionally mentioned he didn’t suppose the tweeting of a black hand emoji, which he claims was meant as a reference to the ‘Bye Felicia’ meme, which originates from the 1995 movie ‘Friday’ starring rapper Ice Dice, wasn’t a racial situation till the web made it a racial situation.
“For me, I don’t really feel like I deserved the suspension. I realise that I didn’t signify the model in the best way that I used to be alleged to, however to have missed the Classics [in 2020] and, straight up, I’m in a position to play a giant function for the workforce, and I believe to sacrifice that was most likely, positively, not price it, for myself and the workforce,” Simmons mentioned.
“This wasn’t a racial situation. The web made it a racial situation. This was a dialog between me and a white journalist, so there was no race concerned. The dialogue wasn’t about race, for me, and so for it to have turn out to be a racial situation, I’m confused by that. I can see folks not liking Trump, however to make it a difficulty of race, that wasn’t a part of the dialogue. It was a dialog between two white folks and utterly irrelevant.”
“Truthfully, it wasn’t even a dialog I had in my head. It was probably the most just lately used emoji color, as a result of while you kind it in, it goes to probably the most just lately used [colour], and I had used it earlier than for a similar function, and once I went to click on on it, that’s what it was, and it wasn’t even actually a thought.”
Whereas Simmons acknowledges that team-wide media coaching at Trek-Segafredo’s pre-season coaching camp was due to his actions on the finish of final yr, the workforce’s press officer informed Cycling News that the intention was to assist Simmons higher perceive totally different world views, in addition to to teach him on how you can signify himself on-line.
Simmons mentioned he nonetheless doesn’t perceive why folks have been upset by means of the black hand emoji, and that he wasn’t conscious of the idea of ‘digital blackface’.
“If I’m sincere, no, probably not. This complete idea of this digital blackface, or no matter they need to name it, I had by no means even heard of that, and I believe the vast majority of the inhabitants hadn’t heard of it,” he mentioned. “If this had been two months earlier, and never in the course of an election within the USA, I believe this might have been a non-issue. That is actually one thing new that I don’t absolutely perceive, and I believe lots of people don’t perceive. Clearly, what I’ve realized is to not do it once more and to avoid this kind of dialogue. However, the entire why behind it, actually is…I may by no means have imagined this.”
Simmons will begin his 2021 season this weekend on the Faun-Ardèche Traditional and Royal Bernard Drome Traditional in France. He’ll then race Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan – San Remo in Italy earlier than making his debut within the main cobbled Classics of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.