Texas Deputy AG apologizes to Simone Biles after 'national embarrassment' comment

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Thursday, July 29, 2021
Texas deputy AG apologizes to Biles, calls her 'true patriot'
Texas Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz has issued an apology to Simone Biles after calling her a "national embarrassment" for her decision to focus on her mental health.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz has issued an apology to Simone Biles after calling her decision to pull from the Olympics to focus on her mental health a "national embarrassment."

On Tuesday, Biles' announced she was pulling out of the team finals after one rotation because she wasn't mentally ready. Her decision was supported but also faced critiques. Reitz was among those criticizing Biles, and shared a tweet from another user that contained a video of gymnast Kerri Strug's 1996 performance, which is remembered for her gold medal-clinching vault on an injured ankle.

SEE ALSO: Simone Biles says she feels good physically after exiting team finals; Team USA wins Silver

"Contrast this with our selfish, childish national embarrassment, Simone Biles," Reitz wrote in a now deleted tweet.

After receiving backlash, Reitz's tweet was no longer found on his page. Instead, he pinned a tweet issuing an apology to Biles.

"I owe @Simone_Biles an apology. A big one," he wrote.

Reitz added that his previous comment was made in a moment of frustration and disappointment.

"I opined on subjects for which I am not adequately versed. That was an error," Reitz's statement read. "I can't imagine what Simone Biles has gone through."

Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum guided the U.S. to silver while Biles cheered from the sideline in a white sweatsuit, at peace with a decision that revealed a shift not only in Biles but perhaps the sport she's redefined.

She then announced that she would not defend her Olympic title and withdrew from Thursday's all-around competition.

Following Biles' announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton posted a tweet in support of Biles but also took aim at Reitz's comment.

SEE ALSO: Simone Biles withdraws from all-around competition at Tokyo Summer Games

"Today I learned about a very inappropriate and insensitive tweet by one of our employees. This will be handled internally," the tweet said.

Paxton also added a statement supporting Biles and expressing the importance of mental health.

"I know Simone Biles - she is a fantastic athlete but an even better person," the statement read. "Mental health is far more important than any athletic competition and I fully support her decision."

The video above is from a previous story in which Simone Biles admitted she felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders.