KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS Local) — An Olympic silver medalist has been removed from her position as an athlete representative with USA Gymnastics after posting a controversial meme.
Terin Humphrey posted the meme on her Facebook page last month that read, “What Champions consider coaching, the entitled consider abuse.”
With USA Gymnastics still dealing with the fallout from one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in sports history, Humphrey faced plenty of backlash.
“From I’m garbage to my house is going to be burnt down,” Humphrey told KSHB while describing some of the user comments sent her way.
Humphrey won two silver medals at the 2004 games in Athens before becoming an athlete representative for USA Gymnastics after being elected to the volunteer position in 2009. She was re-elected four years later and saw her term extended.
But the USA Gymnastics Athletes’ Council voted last month to remove her from the post “because comments she made do not align with our values and goals,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
“While Terin was a valued member of the Athletes’ Council, some of her statements today about the Athletes’ Council’s decision, the organization, and the leadership of USA Gymnastics do not accurately reflect the situation,” the statement continued. “We wish Terin well in her professional pursuits.”
“My reputation has been tarnished, Humphrey said. “It sucks. There’s no other word.”
An investigative report by the Indy Star in 2016 found that “at least 368 gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches, gym owners and other adults working in gymnastics” over the past two decades.
But Humphrey said she never intended the meme to be a message to other gymnasts who have reported sexual abuse allegations.
“When I posted, I didn’t even think of that side of the meme,” she said. “Literally, it was about how I needed to be coached.”