“As a national sports federation, we believe we have a responsibility to use our platform to stand for what we value most.”
In a letter addressed to the gymnastics community on racial and social justice, USA Gymnastics stated Monday: “The recent killings of unarmed Black people – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among others – have deeply affected us all, and have sparked a national conversation around the systemic racial injustice that continues to plague our country.”
Acknowledging that some in the gymnastics community believe that USA Gymnastics as an organization, should not talk about racism and injustice “because of the nature of our organization’s purpose” and that the organization has “failed our athletes and the gymnastics community,” the leadership team and Board of Directors outlined the following actions in their efforts to earn trust, do more and do better for the athletes, sport and community:
- We will require implicit bias training for USA Gymnastics staff and leadership positions, and will endeavor to make similar training available to all members.
- We will work with a credible researcher to analyze the role of implicit bias in judging.
- We will use our platforms to amplify the voices of our community members from traditionally underrepresented groups, in order to share their experiences more broadly and facilitate continued conversation across the gymnastics community.
- We will strengthen our internal hiring practices for both employees and contractors, to ensure that we are more intentional and proactive in seeking out staff, contractors, and business leaders from underrepresented groups.
- Juneteenth (June 19th) will be a day of reflection for USA Gymnastics staff going forward. We are encouraging our staff to spend this day listening and learning, and finding ways to commit to concrete action steps to become better allies and advocates. We invite member gyms and clubs to recognize this important day in the history of our nation in their own way.