Interim USA Gymnastics President Mary Bono resigned on Tuesday after posting an anti-Nike post on her Twitter account which brought her criticism from Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and others. She had joined the role just a week ago.
She was forced to apologize for posting the tweet last September in which she crossed out a Nike logo on a pair of golf shoes while participating in a celebrity golf tournament. Bono posted that tweet on September 7th but later deleted it and apologized for it. The organization, however, had no information on this tweet when they hired her for the role.
This reaction of her came after Nike had just announced that free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be part of their major marketing campaign. Bono disliked the design and decided to protest via her tweet.
Bono resigned from the position acknowledging that her “withdrawal comes in the wake of personal attacks that, left undefended, would have made my leading a liability for the organization.”
She also mentioned that with respect to Mr. Kaepernick, he nationally exercised his First Amendment right to kneel. She held that she exercised the same right granted to her by marking over on her own golf shoes the logo of the company sponsoring him for ‘believing in something even if it means sacrificing everything’ while at a tournament for families who have lost a member of the armed services.
USA Gymnastics’ board of directors released a statement according to which they had accepted Bono’s resignation. The report also mentions that,
Despite her commitment to the sport, we believe this is in the best interest of the organization.”
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said that the situation was unfortunate,
“The USOC is committed to find the right leader who can build gymnastics up to the world-class organization we know that it can and should be.”
Bono took over the position of interim president after USA Gymnastics’ previous top official, Kerry Perry, resigned.