One of the announcers covering the Rio Olympics on NBC is getting heat over comments about U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, one of the stars of the first weekend of the Games.
“The 19-year-old gymnast and her younger sister were adopted by their maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, and his wife, Nellie, after spending time in foster care. Simone Biles refers to them as her parents,” the AP notes. “Announcer Al Trautwig, though, on air has referred to Nellie and Ron as Simone’s grandparents.
“When a woman tweeted to Trautwig that he should refer to Ron and Nellie as her parents, Trautwig tweeted back: ‘They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents.'”
The tweet, which was later deleted by Trautwig, drew fire on social media.
“He was criticized by Carrie Goldman, an adoptive mother who writes a blog, ‘Portrait of an Adoption.’ Goldman said NBC needs to make sure its commentators are educated about adoption,” the AP reports. “She says the comments deeply disrespect adopted children and parents.”
Simone Biles is already a star of the Rio Games, anchoring a strong U.S. women’s gymnastics team. Biles, the three-time reigning world champion, has won 10 gold medals at worlds since 2013.
“Though Simone remains in contact with Shanon Biles, she is quick to correct anyone that calls Shanon her mother,” the AP notes. “Shanon Biles is her biological mother, she says; Nellie Biles is Mom.”
Here’s a clip of Biles in action in Rio …