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Nicola Adams decided to ‘fight back’ against homophobes and racists after girlfriend received abuse

"As a Black woman, I know I’m treated differently."

By Jamie Tabberer

Strictly Come Dancing star Nicola Adams has spoken out about the racism and homophobia she experiences as a Black woman, and because of her same-sex, interracial relationship with beauty blogger Ella Baig.

The Olympic champion boxer discussed the challenges – and how she’s decided to “fight back” – in a new interview with Women’s Health UK.

She said: “I’ve become resilient to the comments I get online – I’ll block people rather than reply.

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A post shared by Nicola Adams (@nicolaadamsobe) on

“But recently, Ella [who has also been subjected to online bullying] and I decided to fight back, because maybe there are people out there who aren’t able to cope with these sorts of messages; people who might find it comforting to know that even though I’m an Olympic champion, people still say horrible things to me.”

The 37-year-old added: “The first time my partner Ella and I really considered that we were an ‘interracial’ couple was when a woman commented on a picture of us on social media saying she was proud of us for being one. We just feel like two ordinary people.”

On experiencing micro-aggressions in everyday life, Nicola said: “As a Black woman, I know I’m treated differently – subtle things, like people moving their handbags away from me or security guards following me around shops.”

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Nicola was last month announced as a contestant on this year’s Strictly. She will dance with Katya Jones, in the show’s historic first same-sex pairing. The announcement prompted over 200 complaints to Ofcom.

Nicola was one of the breakout stars of the London 2012 Olympics, when she became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal for Team GB.

Read the full Nicola Adams interview in the November 2020 issue of Women’s Health, on sale from 30th September 2020, also available as a digital edition.

(Top picture: Instagram/ella.baig)