USA Gymnastics President Mary Bono just resigned after anti-Kaepernick scandal

The scandal-wracked United States Gymnastics program won’t be getting a reprieve anytime soon, as even more questionable decisions by the organization continue to backfire in disturbing fashion.

After firing Kerry Perry, who was let go after only nine months for mishandling the fallout from the horrifying mass rape and abuse committed by former team doctor Larry Nassar, US Gymnastics hired former Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono last Friday to lead the organization in the interim.

But Bono barely made it through the weekend, immediately sparking a wave of public backlash after she took to Twitter to post a picture of her using a marker to cover up the NIKE logo on her shoes over the company’s decision to sponsor civil rights warrior and blackballed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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NIKE just so happens to be one of US Gymnastics’ sponsors through 2020, and the tweet was immediately met with a storm of outrage from gymnasts and private citizens alike.

Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles was utterly aghast that the woman chosen to right the ship after the mass sex abuse scandal was not only causing such controversy but making it clear that Bono was ignoring the reason Kaepernick began protesting in the first place — systematic racial injustice and the epidemic of police brutality against people of color in America.

Gymnast Alexandra Raisman followed up with a tweet yesterday that questioned why on earth the Gymnastics organization would appoint as CEO someone who had previously worked for the legal firm Faegre Baker Daniels, whose lawyers had helped the Gymnastics front office cover up the sexual assault investigation into Larry Nassar. 

Bono resigned on Tuesday in a statement complaining about the “personal attacks” that she had voluntarily and needlessly inflicted upon herself and defended her work at the  Faegre Baker Daniels.

Doubtlessly Bono will soon be turned into a “free speech” icon by the right-wing “fired for truth” crowd that weeps and moans whenever anyone is forced to endure consequences for endorsing racist ideas or movements — like the obviously racist campaign against NIKE and Colin Kaepernick.

But it’s hard to find any sympathy for Bono or U.S. Gymnastics, who have been consistently handling their horrifying scandals with stunning incompetence. Maybe they’ll get it right next time. Good riddance.

Original reporting by Kate Feldman at the NY Daily News.

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Colin Taylor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.


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