Simone Biles Makes USA Gymnastics History Again—and Makes the Organization’s President Recant Her Tweet on Colin Kaepernick

Simone Biles performs her floor exercise during day four of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships 2018 on Aug. 19, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Simone Biles performs her floor exercise during day four of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships 2018 on Aug. 19, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo: Tim Bradbury (Getty Images)

Simone Biles is a force to be reckoned with—in competition, and on Twitter. After once again upgrading her gymnastics program by nailing a vault no woman has ever performed during the USA Gymnastics team selection camp last Thursday, on Saturday she took a moment out of her busy schedule to clap back at an inappropriate tweet by newly-appointed interim USA Gymnastics president Mary Bono.


According to the Cut, in the now-deleted tweet, Bono expressed disappointment in Colin Kaepernick becoming a campaign star for Nike (a move that has both boosted sales for the company and promoted awareness of how police brutality affects already-marginalized communities of color.) After reading the tweet, Biles decided to express some disappointment of her own, calling out Bono’s poor judgment:

Within hours, Bono wisely deleted the tweet, offering a non-apologetic acknowledgment of her gaffe:

Notably, Bono, a former gymnast and Republican Congresswoman for Palm Springs, California, as well as widow of Sonny Bono, was announced as interim president of the organization on Thursday after several executives resigned over their concealment of former team doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual misconduct. In a statement, the Board of Directors of USA Gymnastics lauded Bono as “an outstanding communicator who can coalesce people with differing views and perspectives.”

Bono later followed up with a tweet that more clearly expressed regret for her initial tweet, promising that it did not reflect the way she would be approaching her new role.


Biles didn’t bother to issue a response to Bono.

But back to that vault performance, which featured two mid-air twists—a half twist more than Biles had included in previous competitions—and ended with a landing facing away from the vault. Oh, and did we mention that she did this with a broken toe? As noted by our Kinja neighbors at Deadspin, if Biles nails the move again at the world championships, it will be named “the Biles”—as was the double layout-half on floor exercise in 2013.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?


The Ghost of James Madison's Rage Boner

Mary Bono was the Congressional representative from Palm Springs, not a state rep.

As Republicans from California go, she wasn’t completely terrible, but the red districts out here have mostly stopped electing pro-choice women in favor of nutjobs like Devin Nunes.