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USA Gymnasitcs Chief Quits After Simone Biles Criticism

Mary Bono, USA Gymnastics,

Mary Bono, the interim CEO and president of USA Gymnastics, stepped down on Tuesday with just four days in the role, according to Business Insider. The resignation came after what she referred to as “personal attacks” from Olympic champion Simone Biles.

“It is with profound regret, coupled with a deep love for the sport of gymnastics and respect for those who aspire to be great gymnasts, that I today tendered my resignation as the interim CEO of USA Gymnastics,” Bono said in a statement. “My withdrawal comes in the wake of personal attacks that, left undefended, would have made my leading USAG a liability for the organization.”

The former congresswoman faced backlash over a now-deleted tweet, in which she was depicted filling in Nike’s “Swoosh” logo with a marker. The message was perceived to be a shot at the athletic’s company’s Colin Kaepernick campaign.

Biles, who is sponsored by Nike, reacted to the message writing, “*Mouth drop* Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter USA Gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything,” on Twitter. The company is also one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympics.

“It was an emotional reaction to the sponsor’s use of that phrase that caused me to tweet, and I regret that at the time I did not better clarify things,” Bono wrote in her resignation letter. She continued, “With respect to Mr. Kaepernick, he nationally exercised his First Amendment right to kneel. I exercised mine.”

Bono was placed in the chief role after Kerry Perry stepped down during the scandal with Larry Nassar, the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor, accused by more than 200 female athletes of sexual abuse under the pretense of medical care. Biles is among the Nassar survivors.

Aly Raisman, another Olympic gymnast and Nassar survivor, also highlighted how Bono used to work at the law firm hired to investigate the Nassar case.

In February, Nassar was sentenced to 360 years on 10 counts of sexual assault of minors and child pornography charges.

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