Naomi is one of the top female stars on WWE SmackDown in 2020, but things weren't easy for her when she first started.
Naomi was signed by WWE in August 2009 and worked in FCW and NXT before being moved to the main roster as part of The Funkadactyls in 2012. Naomi was looked at as a background player and dancer during the Diva era before breaking out as a singles star once the women's revolution began picking up steam.
Appearing on Women's Wrestling Weekly, Naomi discussed her early struggles and being singled out due to the color of her skin.
"I've been treated, overall, very well," she said when asked about any racism in WWE. "I can't complain and I feel like I've had an amazing career. However, I do know that there are some struggles and things that I've had to experience and go through because I am black and I was different at the time I came in. At the time, the prototype and what was, was not me. The face was Kelly Kelly at the time. She's stunning, gorgeous. Now, there's so much diversity. At the time I came in, there were struggles, there were 'talk to's' and me being pulled to the side to talk about my look and ways I was carrying myself. And I feel like that had everything to do with me being black. But I've seen so many changes I've seen so much growth in the company. A lot of those people that were saying things to me that weren't right or inappropriate are no longer here. I definitely had some struggles but I feel like going through that helped me find myself. At the time, I felt I had to do what I had to do to stay around and be featured. And it got me to where I am now."
Naomi returned after a long hiatus at WWE Royal Rumble in the Women's Royal Rumble match. She is set to face Carmella on Friday's SmackDown, with the winner receiving a SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bayley at WWE Super ShowDown.
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