Retired Black Olympic fencer targeted by racist trolls in Zoom chat: 'It was very violating'
Men wearing "troll face" masks (Image via Creative Commons)

On Monday, the Atlanta Black Star reported that Nzingha Prescod, a retired Olympic fencer, was targeted for racist harassment by trolls when she attempted to connect with fellow athletes on Zoom.

"Prescod logged in to Zoom in early April to interact with members of the fencing community months after her early retirement, USA Today reported," wrote Ashleigh Atwell. "She was forced to leave the sport in January due to a degenerative hip condition. As the call progressed, racist language and insults toward the fencer began to fill the chatroom. Team manager Brandon Dyett, who is African-American, also was on the call."

“Two or three minutes after the session began, someone in the chat wrote ‘n—r, n—-r, n—-r, n—-r!’” reported Prescod. “I didn’t see it at first. I wasn’t monitoring the chat. But when I did click on the chat, someone wrote ‘n—-r, n—-r, n—-r, n—-r!’”

“It was very upsetting. And this was in my space! Fencing is my comfort space,” Prescod said to USA Today. “It was very violating and upsetting.” She added, "I expected someone to stand up for me."

This was not an isolated incident. So-called "Zoombombers" have been exploiting the popular video conferencing service to post racist, demeaning, and pornographic attacks for weeks, often targeting online classes.