USA Gymnastics has found itself mired in perpetual controversy in recent years.
The snowball began rolling in earnest when the horrific allegations of sexual abuse against team doctor Larry Nassar surfaced in 2015.
Obviously, Nassar’s actions are unforgivable and he deserves every last second of what is effectively a life sentence in prison.
After taking care of Nassar, the hounds of justice set their sights on USA Gymnastics itself. Any organization that could have been so unaware of the horrors taking place right under its nose deserve the accompanying scrutiny.
Former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny was forced to resign by the USOC after his horrible mishandling of the Nassar scandal.
His replacement, Kerry Perry, also ended up being forced to resign after her leadership was questioned by USOC.
Now, Perry’s replacement, Mary Bono, has also found herself in controversy, though nothing as serious as the last two.
Bono, a former Republican congresswoman in California, was barely on the job when a month-old tweet of hers resurfaced.
“Playing in a charity golf tournament raising for our nation’s Special Forces operators and their families. Unfortunately, had these shoes in my bad. Luckily I had a marker in my bag too,” Bono said in a since-deleted tweet.
The accompanying picture showed her using a black marker to hide the Nike logo on a shoe.
Regardless of how you feel about Nike’s divisive ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, Bono is more than entitled to her opinion. Yes, she put Nike, and by extension Kaepernick, on blast for the latter’s rhetoric. But she’s hardly exclusive in her feelings. Bono is just one of many Americans who feel that Kaepernick’s anthem protests were disrespectful to the flag, the military and the police.
While Bono is obviously allowed to voice her opinion, she unfortunately also drew the ire of her organization’s premiere athlete, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.
don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything https://t.co/cYQizcjywn
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) October 13, 2018
“Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything,” Biles wrote in a blistering response tweet prefaced by a “mouth drop.”
While USA Gymnastics hasn’t had a team sponsor since late 2017, Biles is personally sponsored by Nike, according to ESPN.
Perhaps realizing that Biles is the one gymnast she cannot afford to alienate, Bono promptly deleted the tweet and issued an apology.
I regret the post and respect everyone’s views & fundamental right to express them. This doesn’t reflect how I will approach my position @USAGym I will do everything I can to help build, w/ the community, an open, safe & positive environment.
— Mary Bono (@MaryBonoUSA) October 14, 2018
“I regret the post and respect everyone’s views & fundamental right to express them. This doesn’t reflect how I will approach my position @USAGym I will do everything I can to help build, w/ the community, an open, safe & positive environment,” Bono said in her apology tweet.
It would be nice to think that this will be the final controversy USA Gymnastics will have to deal with for a while. But if recent history is any indication, that seems almost impossible.
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