Simone Biles on USA Gymnastics' pledge to change: 'Talking is easy'
In a Tuesday morning interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Biles responded to recently appointed USA Gymnastics CEO and President Li Li Leung, who said earlier this month that the organization is working hard to create a safe and open environment in the wake of the Nassar case. The five-time Olympic medalist, who made history earlier this month at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, told the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie that she hopes USA Gymnastics can take real action ― not just release press statements.
“I feel like you can always talk the talk, but you have to show up and you have to prove. You just have to do your job at the end of the day,” Biles told Guthrie. “It would almost be better if you just proved to everyone rather than talking, because talking is easy.”
Leung apologized to many athletes, including Biles, in her statement earlier this month, writing that that organization is working hard “to foster a safe, positive and encouraging environment where athlete voices are heard.”
USA Gymnastics has come under fire since the Nassar allegations came to light in 2016. The organization has been in turmoil as it attempts to right the wrongs that enabled Nassar to abuse children for decades.
Biles broke down in tears earlier this month while discussing USA Gymnastics’ inability to protect its athletes.
“It’s hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times,” Biles said while warming up for the U.S. championships in Kansas City at the beginning of August.
“We’ve done everything that they’ve asked us to even when we didn’t want to. And they couldn’t do one damn job,” Biles said while tearing up. “You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn’t protect us.”
Biles’ emotional comments were in reaction to a congressional report published in July that found USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the FBI “fundamentally failed” to protect athletes from Nassar’s abuse.
The star gymnast came forward in January 2018 with sexual abuse allegations against Nassar, who is currently serving a life sentence on child pornography and child sex abuse charges. Nassar is accused of serially sexually abusing over 500 athletes during his tenures with Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. Additional Olympians abused by Nassar include Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney.
Need help? Visit RAINN's National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's website.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.