NBC journalist disses Olympic gymnast Simone Biles’ parents

Simone Biles and parents 4
Simone Biles and her mother Nellie (via Facebook)

Three-time reigning world champion Simone Biles has won 14 medals, including 10 gold, since 2013. The gymnast, 19, spent time in foster care with her younger sister Adria before her maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, adopted her in 2001. Shanon Biles, the girls’ biological mother, terminated her parental rights. She struggled with alcohol and drug abuse while living in Ohio.

This fact apparently annoys Al Trautwig, a sports commentator with the MSG Network, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and USA Network. He’s NBC’s gymnastic announcer at the Rio Games. Trautwig referred to the Biles on Sunday’s, August 7, 2016, NBC primetime broadcast and failed to acknowledge her parents. When a woman tweeted Trautwig to say that he should call them her parents, he tweeted, “They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents.”

Simone Biles and parents 3

The reporter deleted the Twitter post but it was preserved by users who retweeted or screen-grabbed it. The hashtag #FireTrautwig gained traction on Twitter.

Biles’ coach Aimee Boorman tweeted, “@AlTrautwig actually they are her parents.”

In a December interview at the family’s Houston-area home, Simone told USA TODAY Sports, “When I was younger, I was adopted by my grandparents, which are now my parents. I call them Mom and Dad. Everything’s just been so normal.”

Trautwig later shared, “I regret that I wasn’t more clear in my wording on the air,” in a statement emailed by NBC Sports. “I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone’s parents.”

Biles is poised in Rio de Janeiro to become the fourth straight American to win the Olympic all-around gold. She is also reportedly dating Brazilian athlete Arthur Mariano, 22.  She posted on Twitter, “my brazilian boyfriend” and followed it with emojis of the Brazilian flag, a smiley face blowing a kiss and a heart. He called her “Queen” in a birthday greeting in March.

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