The interim CEO of USA Gymnastics is out, just four days after accepting the post.
Mary Bono announced on Tuesday that she would be stepping down, just days after she managed to draw the ire of two of the sport’s most respected and decorated athletes, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles.
Biles lashed out after Bono posted a tweet over the weekend that showed her blacking out the swoosh on her Nikes in response to the brand’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in their new ad campaign.
She did this despite the fact that Nike sponsors Biles and USA Gymnastics, prompting the Olympic all-around champion to tweet: ‘*mouth drop* don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything.’
That tweet came on the same weekend Biles won the national championship in a performance that many believe to be the greatest in the history of the sport.
Things did not get better either, with Bono deleting the tweet only to come up against resistance from Raisman, who like Biles was one of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar’s victims.
‘My teammates & I reported Nassar’s abuse to USAG in 2015. We now know USOC & lawyers at Faegre Baker Daniels (Mary Bono’s firm) were also told then, yet Nassar continued to abuse children for 13 months!?’ tweeted Raisman on Monday.
‘Why hire someone associated with the firm that helped cover up our abuse?’
One of the girls who was assaulted by Nassar in those 13 months also tweeted at Bono over the weekend.
Kaylee Lorincz, who delivered her victim impact statement on the final day of the Nassar sentencing hearing back in January, said: ‘You owe me an explanation of why you and your firm allowed Larry to abuse me in 2016 after you were well aware that he was abusing little girls.’
Bono came into an organization that was already incredibly fractured as a result of multiple people in positions of power either turning a blind eye or ignoring the allegations being made against Nassar.
That did not stop her though from firing off a controversial tweet to kick things off while attending a golf tournament.
‘Playing in a charity golf tournament raising money for our nation’s Special Forces operators and their families. Unfortunately had these shoes in my bag,’ read her tweet.
‘Luckily I had a marker in my bag too.’
The board released a statement soon after the news of Bono’s departure on Tuesday that will likely to little to impress either Biles or Raisman.
‘The USA Gymnastics Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Mary Bono as interim president and CEO. Despite her commitment to the sport of gymnastics and helping the organization move forward, we believe this is in the best interest of the organization,’ it read.
‘We, as a Board, are committed to taking action when we believe a change of course is necessary and to being responsive to our gymnastics community.’
The statement continued: ‘While we continue the search for a permanent president and CEO and are currently seeking input from key stakeholders on that search, we remain steadfast in our efforts to fundamentally transform the organization at all levels to ensure athlete safety and well-being is at the heart of everything we do.’
John Manly, who represented a number of the women who was abused and assaulted by Nassar also released a statement on Tuesday,
‘Mary Bono worked for Faegre Baker Daniels, the very same law firm who helped USAG and its disgraced former president Steve Penny keep Nassar’s abuse secret in 2015,’ read Manly’s remarks.
‘Selecting her as interim President was an insult to every survivor and shows a complete disregard for the safety of child athletes. USA Gymnastics should be decertified immediately as the governing body for gymnastics in the US.
‘It should be replaced by a body with credible/competent leadership that includes survivors. USAG is a disgrace to our current athletes, to the survivors and our nation.’
SOURCE: DailyMail, by CHRIS SPARGO