World champion gymnast Simone Biles had a career-defining performance to put on at the Rio Olympics, but she unwittingly became the center of a controversy this week. NBC's Olympics commentator Al Trautwig had suggested that the physics-defying Olympic gold medalist's parents aren't her real parents because she is adopted, a remark that was soundly criticized.
Trautwig first said on air on Sunday that Biles was "raised by her grandfather and his wife and she calls them mom and dad." When a Twitter user called him out for it, Trautwig doubled down, tweeting:
They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents.
According to USA Today, Biles and her younger sister Adria were adopted by Ron and Nellie Biles in 2001, after a stint in foster care following her mother's Shanon Biles' struggles with drugs and alcohol.
Trautwig later deleted his tweet due to the overwhelming backlash, though some users were quick to take screenshots beforehand.
He later issued an apology through NBC Sports. "I regret that I wasn't more clear in my wording on the air. I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone's parents," the email read
Biles' coach Aimee Boorman even tweeted back at Trautwig saying, "actually they are her parents."
Biles herself remained silent about the matter until Tuesday. In an interview with Us Weekly, Biles chose to stay above the fray:
I personally don't have a comment. My parents are my parents and that's it.