The embattled governing body of gymnastics in the United States was dealt another self-inflicted blow when its president resigned, partially because of a tweet.
Mary Bono took over the job of interim president and CEO of USA Gymnastics on Friday. She was done by Tuesday.
She's the second USA Gymnastics president to resign in the last six weeks — Kerry Perry was in charge for less than a year before being forced out on Sept. 4.
In September Bono tweeted a photo of her blacking out the Nike logo on a shoe with a permanent marker, saying "Playing in a charity golf tournament raising money for our nation's Special Forces operators and their families. Unfortunately had these shoes in my bag. luckily I had a marker in my bag too …"
The tweet was in reference to Nike's marketing campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose decision to kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest put him in the center of a firestorm that seemed to pit those who supported Kaepernick's efforts to stop police brutality against those who felt his kneeling was disrespectful to service members and the flag.
But there was one big issue: Simone Biles, the face of gymnastics in the U.S., is sponsored by Nike. And a day after the announcement of Bono's hiring, she went on Twitter to say she was not happy.
Bono deleted her tweet, saying it "doesn't reflect how I will approach my position [with USA Gymnastics]."
But the damage was done. In a statement released Tuesday, Bono said she tendered her resignation "in the wake of personal attacks that, left undefended, would have made my leading USAG a liability."
She addressed the tweet in her resignation letter, saying that Kaepernick "nationally exercised his first amendment right to kneel. I exercised mine: to mark over my 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 …"
Bono was a a U.S. representative in California for 15 years. After leaving Congress, she joined the law firm that, according to the Washington Post, was hired by USAG in 2015 as the organization prepared itself for an investigation of Larry Nassar, the former team physician who was convicted of sexual abuse of hundreds of young gymnasts while working for Michigan State and USA Gynmastics.
Aly Raisman, who became a vocal advocate for her peers and against Nassar and USAG's actions, spoke up on Twitter about Bono's hiring. She said the lawyers at the firm Mary Bono worked for knew Nassar was abusing athletes and didn't go to police.
Now, the next summer Olympics is less than two years away, and USAG is still searching for someone to lead the organization out of the crisis following Nassar's conviction last winter.