Simone Biles' father: 'Out of line'
The parents of 16-year-old gymnast Simone Biles, who won the women's all-around gold medal at the world championships last week, aren't ready to forgive Italy's Carlotta Ferlito for a racist comment made during the competition but say their daughter is moving on.
"I found it very insulting," Biles' father, Ron, told USA Today Sports. "The racial comment was really out of line."
After fellow Italian Vanessa Ferrari and Ferlito finished fourth and fifth on the balance beam -- just behind Biles -- Ferlito said with a laugh during a video interview, "I told Vane that next time we'll have our skin black also so we can win, too."
Biles became the first black gymnast to become world champion. At last year's London Games, Gabby Douglas became the first black woman to win the Olympic all-around title.
On Thursday, Italian federation president Riccardo Agabio said in a statement that he condemns "every form of racism and discrimination" and added that he hopes this matter won't hurt the friendly relationship between the federations.
"It did bother her," Nellie Biles, Simone's mother, told USA Today. "I told her, 'Don't get roped into this' and, 'Don't let those comments ruin this moment for you. Just be proud of your performance and outcome.'
"People are entitled to their opinion. For [Ferlito] to go into this racism stuff is pointless, and [Simone] is not going to address it."
Ferlito apologized Tuesday on Twitter for the comment.
"I want to apologize with the Americans girls. I didn't want to sound rude or racist. I love Simone and I'm a huge fan of USA gymnastics," Ferlito tweeted. "I've made a mistake, I'm not perfect ... I didn't think about what I was saying. I'm just a human. I'm so so sorry."
Biles returned home to Spring, Texas, on Tuesday.
"The little girls at the gym are freaking out a little bit, saying hi and giving me hugs and stuff, but that's it," Biles told USA Today.
Ron Biles said Simone is ready to move on.
"She's not fazed by it," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.