The USAG couldn't even be bothered to make sure that they were tagging the right Twitter account in the tweet.
Simone Biles, the multi-time Olympic champion, celebrated her 23rd birthday over the weekend. However, even amid the festivities of welcoming her "Jordan year," the high-profile gymnast found time to give USA Gymnastics (USAG) a refresher course in where her priorities lay. Responding to a rather cliché sugar-coated birthday tweet from USAG, Biles made it abundantly clear that she'd rather the governing body conduct an independent investigation of Larry Nassar—the former Team USA doctor who sexually abused over 150 women and girls over the course of two decades—including herself.
Biles delivered an explosive clapback in response to a USAG tweet that reads: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most decorated gymnast of all time, @simonebiles! We know you will only continue to amaze us and make history! While this particular tweet at first glance, comes across as nothing more than a sweet gesture from the federation, to those familiar with the Nassar scandal, it reeks of an unpleasantly condescending stench given the USAG's handling of the two-decade-long sexual abuse saga. Biles seemed to have felt so, too, as she hit back with this tweet: How about you amaze me and do the right thing... have an independent investigation.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most decorated gymnast of all time, @simonebiles! We know you will only continue to amaze us and make history! ✨🎉🥇👑 pic.twitter.com/Z8eW4fsC4s— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) March 14, 2020
Meanwhile, the USAG couldn't even be bothered to make sure that they were tagging the right Twitter account in the tweet, reports The Washington Post. Although the governing body—or whoever handles its Twitter account—later rectified its error, it was of little use to Biles who clearly just wants accountability and answers from USAG. She and former gold medal-winning teammate Aly Raisman are among several high-profile gymnasts who came forward with allegations of sexual abuse against the former team doctor.
Fifteen months on from Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics struggles to find its way | By @duresport https://t.co/DgDuOUNYGK— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) April 24, 2019
They have since kept up the pressure on USAG to reveal details on what executives in the organization knew about the accusations stacked up against Nassar, who is currently serving an effective life sentence on charges of child pornography and abuse. In July last year—after an 18-month inquiry—a congressional subcommittee concluded that the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and USAG "knowingly concealed abuse by Larry Nassar, leading to the abuse of dozens of additional amateur athletes from summer 2015 to September 2016."
Larry Nassar victims offered $215 million by USA Gymnastics to settle claims https://t.co/jPVpQ4ZWH8 via @thefield_in— scroll.in (@scroll_in) February 1, 2020
Former USA team doctor Nassar has been sentenced to 40-125 years in prison for abusing female gymnasts while supposedly treating them.
Backed up against a corner by hundreds of lawsuits over its inability to protect girls in its care, the USAG then proposed a $215 million settlement in January this year, as part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy. The proposal would also release the USOPC, former USAG CEO Steve Penny, and former national team directors Bela and Martha Karolyi from litigation. Responding to the proposal, Biles tweeted: Ugh at the airport. Heading to team camp. Still want answers from USAG and USOPC. Wish they BOTH wanted an independent investigation as much as the survivors & I do. Anxiety high. Hard not to think about everything that I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT!!!
Can’t tell you how hard this is to read and process. The pain is real and doesn’t just go away...especially when new facts are still coming out. What’s it going to take for a complete and independent investigation of both USOPC and USAG??? https://t.co/UrDXIrTng9— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 22, 2019
The problem is USAG & USOC don’t want anyone to know. This is a massive cover-up. The only way for anyone to know what really happened is if someone forces them to release ALL documents & data to investigate. HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN? Raisman replied at the time. According to USA Today, the USAG released a statement in response to Biles' criticism, in which it said: "We have fully cooperated with all investigative bodies, including by producing information that they have requested. Investigations have been led by Ropes & Gray (an independent law firm), several congressional committees, the Indiana Attorney General, and Walker County, Texas; and we will continue to cooperate."
Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman called a proposed new settlement by USA Gymnastics "offensive" and says the organization is blocking efforts to get all the details of how Larry Nassar was able to sexually abuse athletes for years. https://t.co/f6jKjRmcvH— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 2, 2020
"We are deeply committed to learning from these investigations and finding ways to prevent abuse in the future. At the same time, we must respect the confidentiality and integrity of the mediation and SafeSport processes. We would welcome the opportunity to continue mediation and discussing how to best resolve the survivors’ claims," the statement added.
USA gymnastics twitter account when they saw Simone’s retweet: pic.twitter.com/peOZq5k7jQ— Naeem (@YuFoundNemo) March 15, 2020
.@Li_Li_Leung Simone couldn't be clearer. Your athlete is asking you to do ONE thing, the RIGHT thing, and you can't even do that. Shame on you for claiming USAG is on the right track, when you can't even do the bare minimum. https://t.co/hfMlX9aFyr— Kyla’s Perfect 40 (@gainerloso) March 14, 2020
When one of the greatest athletes of all time says this...— Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) March 14, 2020
Come on USAG and USOPC. We're all done with lip service. https://t.co/iw88Hy5xcA