USA Gymnastics CEO Resigns Over Tweet 🥈

 Cliff Owen / AP

Cliff Owen / AP

Hired and fired in a week

After only five days as Interim President of USA Gymnastics (USAG), Mary Bono has resigned. Controversy began after folks on Twitter noticed a tweet of Bono’s, which showed her protesting Nike’s campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Further criticism emerged related to Bono’s ties to the law firm that defended convicted child molestor and former USAG physician Larry Nassar.

Another CEO down

Bono is the second CEO to step down in two months, and the fourth high-ranking official to do so in the last half-year. She trained as a gymnast in her youth and served as a US Representative from Southern California for 15 years (Republican, 1998-2013).


SEXUAL ASSAULT ISSUE:

ThinkProgress: USA Gymnastics Doesn’t Deserve Any More Chances

Vox: Mary Bono, Who Had Ties to a Firm that Helped Protect Larry Nassar, Is Out as USA Gymnastics President

Those who view Bono’s resignation as a sexual assault issue are especially frustrated by Bono’s ties to Nassar. They call for an overhaul of USAG’s leadership and decision-making, arguing that the choice to hire Bono in the first place indicates an ongoing prioritization of USAG’s self-interests over those of victims of abuse.

FREE SPEECH ISSUE:

Fox News: USA Gymnastics chief resigns over anti-Nike tweet, addresses Kaepernick

The Blaze: USA Gymnastics CEO Resigns after Anti-Nike, Anti_Kaepernick Tweet Spurs Backlash

Those who view Bono’s resignation as a free speech issue defend her attempts to apologize, framing her departure as the result of personal attacks by US Olympians Simone Biles and Aly Raisman. These outlets sympathize with what Bono calls her “emotional reaction” to the Nike campaign and emphasize her remarks that, like Kaepernick, the First Amendment gives her the right to express her beliefs.


Should USAG be held accountable?

In the fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal, many have criticized USAG’s efforts to improve as superficialinadequate, and misleading. Evidence suggests this has been a problem for decades. But as gymnastics’ governing body, USAG has an arguably moral (not to mention legal) obligation to its athletes, coaches, fans, and the broader sports community to do much, much better.

USAG can't nail the landing

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