Hours after Olympic champion Aly Raisman criticized the new head of USA Gymnastics, it was announced that Mary Bono, the interim CEO, had resigned from the post on Tuesday.
In a statement, Bono wrote that she regrets to leave the job, but, “in the wake of personal attacks,” she felt her role had become a liability for the organization. Bono was on the job for just four days.
“I really don’t understand what they’re doing. I can’t figure it out,” said Raisman, prior to Bono’s announcement.
In town for a panel discussion on child sexual abuse prevention, Raisman criticized the organization for failing to do more for her and the dozens of other athletes who fell prey to former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of sexually assaulting the young gymnasts he saw as patients.
“I wish I could be on the same page as the organization, but I’m just not,” Raisman explained. “It’s very, very devastating.”
Raisman’s most recent criticism focused on Bono, who worked for a law firm with ties to Nassar. A former congresswoman, Bono had just been hired by the organization to replace CEO Kerry Perry, who was ousted amidst criticism that she lacked transparency when it came to how USA Gymnastics would protect its athletes moving forward.
“They need to be completely transparent because if we don’t know exactly what happened and make sure all the bad people are out it doesn’t matter if you have the best CEO,” Raisman said, “If the best CEO is working with the people involved in the cover-up, it’s not going to change.”
To effect change, Raisman has partnered with Eastern Bank and the nonprofit Darkness to Light, which aims to train and empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse.
“It’s an adult’s responsibility to protect children. If we as adults don’t take responsibility, then no one will,” said Katelyn Brewer, who heads the group.
Eastern Bank provided Raisman and the Brewer with $25,000 to assist with their efforts. Brewer said the interest and help from partners, like Raisman, has helped them make progress.
"There’s a long way to go," Brewer said, “But we are definitely moving in the right direction.”