Simone Biles is no more impressed with the new CEO of USA Gymnastics than she was the last one.
The reigning Olympic champion expressed her displeasure with Mary Bono on Saturday for a tweet the interim executive posted last month. Bono’s tweet criticized Nike in the wake of its endorsement deal with Colin Kaepernick. The tweet included a photo of Bono blacking out the Nike logo on her golf shoes.
“Mouth drop,” Biles wrote on Twitter. “Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything.”
Bono’s post was made Sept. 7, a month before she was named interim CEO. But that no one thought to delete it before her appointment was announced Friday afternoon was considered particularly tone-deaf, given that USA Gymnastics remains without an apparel sponsor, and Biles is a Nike athlete.
Critics of the federation also questioned how receptive Bono might be to listening to athletes if she was critical of Kaepernick’s protests. While Bono didn’t mention Kaepernick in her tweet, it came two days after Nike unveiled its new commercial with him.
Neither Bono nor USA Gymnastics responded to requests for comment Saturday by USA TODAY Sports.
Under Armour was one of several big-name sponsors USA Gymnastics lost in the fallout over the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. The longtime team physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State molested hundreds of girls and young women, including Biles and fellow Final Five teammates Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian.
Nassar is serving an effective life sentence after pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges and state charges of sexual abuse.
USA Gymnastics has struggled to move beyond the Nassar crisis, and doubts about its sincerity in making the cultural changes necessary to protect athletes led to the ouster of the last two CEOs. Biles has been particularly critical of the federation and its executives, and her status as the greatest gymnast of all time gives her opinion added weight.
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USA Gymnastics didn’t abandon the Karolyi Ranch, where some of Nassar’s abuse occurred, until Biles said she didn’t want to return. She was unsparing when asked at the national championships in August what she thought of the leadership of then-CEO Kerry Perry.
“That’s a good question. I’m not so sure yet,” Biles said. “Hopefully it’s going in the right direction, but nobody can know until Kerry Perry speaks up. So it’s kind of hard.”
Biles also refused to provide cover when Perry tried to say she’d had several “interactions” with Biles and her parents. And when USA Gymnastics failed to do anything to honor survivors at nationals, Biles made a statement by wearing a teal leotard in their honor.
Perry resigned Sept. 4 under pressure from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2018/10/13/simone-biles-critical-mary-bono-usa-gymnastics-ceo-nike-kaepernick/1632598002/