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Does MyKayla Skinner deserve the backlash, or is the gymnastics community overreacting?

When you play with fire, you’re bound to get burnt! MyKayla Skinner experienced it first-hand after making insensitive comments after the US Olympic Trials concluded as she seemed quite unimpressed with the Paris Olympics women’s gymnastics team featuring Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey, and Hezly Rivera. The 27-year-old insinuated that besides 7x Olympic medalist Simone Biles, the others lacked in “work ethic.” And what followed was just quite a chain reaction!

Skinner’s comments about the new generation of gymnasts landed her in hot water with athletes and fans alike. The entire incident snowballed even further when MyKayla Skinner explained that the community “misinterpreted” her comments. The former Team USA member finally posted a formal apology hours ago. Yet, somehow, it made things even worse, as fans rejected it en masse.

“I want to formally apologize to Team USA and our gymnastic community for my comments during my recent YouTube episodes of the Gymnastics Olympic trials. It was not my intention to offend or disrespect any of the athletes or to take away from their hard work,” wrote Skinner, addressing Team USA and the community. “Upon reflection, I was comparing the ‘Marta era’ to the current era,” added the World Championships team gold medalist.

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What’s your reaction?

Is MyKayla Skinner's apology too little, too late? React!

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Skinner also described that she hadn’t “fully dealt with the emotional and verbal abuse I endured under Marta that perhaps led to my hurtful comments.” In her original statement, MyKayla Skinner mentioned legendary coach Marta Karolyi who retired after the 2016 Rio Olympics. It should be noted that despite their achievements, Karolyi and her husband were accused of verbally and emotionally abusing gymnasts.

However, she seemed to have praised Karolyi as a “little aggressive and a little intense.” MyKayla Skinner has now altered her statement about the former national team coordinator twice. The mother of one explained that she didn’t intend to compare the “Marta era” with the current landscape and only pointed out that it was different.

MyKayla Skinner concluded the post by taking “full responsibility” for her words and apologized “deeply,” to those who felt distressed. The retired gymnast explained it was of utmost importance to her that the sport she loves “continue down the path of healing.” The Olympian also wished Team USA the best of luck in Paris. Yet, the 27-year-old must’ve understood that she stood on thin ice because she turned off the comments in her post. However, that didn’t stop fans from reacting to Skinner’s apology.

MyKayla Skinner’s apology came a little too late

The gymnastics community, athletes, and their family members may have reacted differently had Skinner issued this apology immediately. However, it’s been nearly a week since the team trials concluded. Meanwhile, Skinner’s first response was to clarify her perspective rather than apologize, which only embittered fans toward the Olympic silver medalist.

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So, the gymnastics community didn’t empathize with her apology and explanation. Many fans thought the apology felt manufactured and ingenuine. “PR firm has entered the chat,” wrote one fan, indicating they felt it was hollow. Another fan dismissed her apology outright. “You are still trash girly,” wrote the fan without an ounce of hesitation.

Meanwhile, one fan reminded MyKayla Skinner about Simone Bile’s response. “‘Not everyone needs a mic and a platform.’ – Simone Biles,” commented the fan. The most decorated gymnast in the world took to social media to write this indirect response to MyKayla Skinner. Fans deciphered Biles’s cryptic quote because Skinner hosts the Agree to Disagree Podcast on YouTube.

The gymnastics community understood that Simone Biles agreed to disagree with her former teammate’s take on rising athletes. Fans didn’t show restraint in denouncing MyKayla Skinner’s formal apology. “Hahahahahahhaha. No, you don’t get to play a victim card and pretend that your experience in the Marta era had anything to do with this. You showed your character,” one fan wrote while sharing the post.

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Another fan said that MyKayla Skinner wouldn’t have made an effort to explain and then apologize had her comments flown under the radar. “You are just sorry because you got caught. You threw all your teammates under the bus. ‘Abuse’ is not a reason to be mean to former athletes. You are just bitter and jealous,” the fan stated.

While MyKayla Skinner addressed everything that angered the gymnastics community and apologized for it all in her post, the damage was already done. Turning off the comments also didn’t inspire confidence in fans. Ultimately, the 27-year-old Olympic silver medalist’s apology may have been a little too late.