Love and Gymnastics: Did Simone Biles Just Go Public With Her 'Brazilian Boyfriend'?

Love and Gymnastics: Did Simone Biles Just Go Public With Her 'Brazilian Boyfriend'?

Here's why some are accusing him of racism.

Published August 9th

Is Simone Biles creating some magic outside of gymnastics in Rio, too?

Before the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro started Friday, the superstar U.S. women's gymnast took to both her Twitter and Instagram accounts to seemingly go public with her "Brazilian boyfriend."

brazilian boyfriend 💚

A photo posted by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on

Well, the man embracing Simone in the photo is Brazilian gymnast Arthur Mariano, who has an eyebrow-raising past.

Last May, the BBC reported that Mariano was amongst three Brazilian gymnasts caught on video making racist remarks to their Black teammate, Angelo Assumpcao. Mariano and his fellow offenders were each suspended for 30 days.

But apparently Simone and Arthur are nothing more than friends, with Biles calling the "boyfriend" label a joke. 

"We joke that we're like international boyfriend and girlfriend because we see each other at these international meets, so I think that's really cool," she told US Weekly. "International friendships are the best, and I think it's something you should cherish forever."

Added Mariano: "We're just friends, like when we see each other in competition and we text each other. [We met] in competition, at the World Championships in 2013."

And they've been buddies ever since.

We'll take their word for it.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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