HOUSTON – One day after withdrawing from the team competition, Houston’s Simone Biles announced that she would not be competing in the individual all-around final.
While millions of people have expressed their support of her strength and decision to be open and honest about the importance of mental health, one Texas elected official had a different opinion.
In a now-deleted tweet, Aaron Reitz, the Texas Deputy Attorney General called the accomplished gymnast a “selfish, childish national embarrassment.”
KPRC 2 was able to capture a screengrab of the tweet before it was deleted:
In the tweet, he retweeted a video of Kerri Strug’s 1996 gold medal event after severely injuring her ankle. Reitz compared Biles to Strug and implied that she should have been like Strug and competed for the sake of the team.
Many commenters expressed outrage at Reitz’s statement.
One person simply shared a retweet that said Strug competed in a time where the system was abusive and put the needs of individual gymnasts last. Another person said that Biles has “ten times the integrity than you do.” Someone else pointed to Attorney General Ken Paxton called his indictment an embarrassment.
Strug has shown support for Biles on Twitter, saying she was “sending love” to the gymnast.
Sending love to you @Simone_Biles 🐐❤️-Team UNITED States of America 🇺🇸— Kerri Strug (@kerristrug96) July 27, 2021
The office of the Texas Attorney General responded to the tweet with a quote from Ken Paxton where he showed support for Biles’ decision. The tweet said the issue would be handled internally.
Today I learned about a very inappropriate and insensitive tweet by one of our employees.— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) July 28, 2021
This will be handled internally. pic.twitter.com/xln30VxVFl
Several hours after Reitz’s comment about Biles, he tweeted a statement and an apology to Biles.
The tweet read, “I owe Simone Biles an apology, A big one.”
The statement in the tweet read the following:
“My personal social media comments do not represent Attorney General Paxton or the Office of the Attorney General.
“In a moment of frustration and disappointment, I opined on subjects for which I am not adequately versed. That was an error. I can’t imagine what Simone Biles has gone through.
“Simone Biles is a true patriot and one of the greatest gymnasts of our time. I apologize to her, and wish her well.”
Biles is the most decorated gymnast of all-time with 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.