Less than a week after becoming the interim president and chief executive of USA Gymnastics, Mary Bono is stepping down from the role, following criticism from Olympians Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.
Bono is a former Republican congresswoman from Southern California. She recently tweeted a photo showing her covering up the Nike logo on her golf shoes, in response to Colin Kaepernick's Nike advertisement. "Don't worry, it's not like we needed a smarter USA Gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything," Biles tweeted.
Bono came under fire from Raisman due to her work with a law firm that many people believe helped USA Gymnastics cover up the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. The former USA Gymnastics national team doctor is accused of molesting hundreds of gymnasts, and earlier this year, he was found guilty of sexual assault of minors. In the wake of the scandal, the entire USA Gymnastics board resigned in January, and a new president, Kerry Perry, was hired, although she resigned nine months later.
After sending in her resignation letter Tuesday, Bono released a defiant statement, saying she had to step down because of "personal attacks." She defended covering the Nike logo on her shoes, saying it was free speech, and said it wasn't fair that the tweet "has now been made the litmus test of my reputation over almost two decades of public service." She did not address Raisman's concerns. Catherine Garcia