USA Gymnastics chief resigns over anti-Nike tweet, addresses Kaepernick

Interim USA Gymnastics President Mary Bono resigned Tuesday after less than one week in the role, days after a resurfaced anti-Nike post from her Twitter account drew criticism from Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and others.

Bono’s resignation came after she was forced to apologize for a tweet last September in which she crossed out a Nike logo on a pair of golf shoes while participating in a celebrity golf tournament. Nike had just announced that free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who spearheaded player national anthem protests, would be the face of a major marketing campaign.

Bono acknowledged her resignation with “profound regret,” noting that her “withdrawal comes in the wake of personal attacks that, left undefended, would have made my leading [USA Gymnastics] a liability for the organization.”

“With respect to Mr. Kaepernick, he nationally exercised his First Amendment right to kneel,” Bono added. “I exercised mine: to mark over on 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 (including my brother-in-law) who literally ‘sacrificed everything.’”

USA Gymnastics did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment on Bono’s resignation. Nike representatives also did not respond.

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said the organization had been informed of Bono's resignation.

“While the situation is unfortunate, we know that USA Gymnastics remains dedicated to the process of finding a new and permanent CEO," Hirshland said in a statement. "The USOC is committed to working hard with the USAG board to find the right leader who can build gymnastics up to the world-class organization we know that it can and should be.”

CNN was first to report Bono's resignation.

Biles, a Nike athlete, ripped Bono for her post last Saturday, one day after she was announced as interim president and hours after the old tweet resurfaced.

“Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter USA Gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything,” Biles wrote on Twitter.

Bono assumed the role of interim president after USA Gymnastics’ previous top official, Kerry Perry, resigned amid intense scrutiny of the organization’s handling of a sexual abuse scandal. Dr. Larry Nasser, the team’s former doctor, has been accused and convicted of dozens of counts of sexual assault against current and former USA gymnasts.

This story has been updated.