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Texas deputy attorney general apologizes for calling Simone Biles a “selfish, childish national embarrassment”

He says Biles is a “true patriot.”

Simone Biles Mike Egerton - PA Images / PA Images / Getty Images

One official from Simone Biles’ home state of Texas apologized to the champion gymnast after calling her out for withdrawing from some Olympic events for mental health reasons.

On Wednesday (July 28), Texas deputy attorney general Aaron Reitz tweeted out a statement that included an apology to the gymnast, whom he called out with a tweet after Biles withdrew from the women’s gymnastic final on Tuesday. “I owe @Simone_Biles and apology. A big one,” Reitz wrote in the tweet that included a lengthier statement.

“My personal social media comments do not represent Attorney General Paxton or the Office of the Attorney General,” reads the statement itself. “In a moment of frustration and disappointment, I opined on subjects for which I am not adequately versed. That was an error. I can’t imagine what Simone Biles has gone through. Simone Biles is a true patriot and one of the greatest gymnasts of our time. I apologize to her, and wish her well.”

In the tweet he originally posted about Biles, Reitz included a video of Kerri Strug, a gymnast who competed with an ankle injury at the 1996 Olympic Games. In the accompanying text, Reitz wrote: “Contrast this with our selfish, childish national embarrassment, Simone Biles.”

For her part, Strug sent words of support to Biles after she withdrew a few days ago. Using her Twitter account, she gave Biles her best. “Sending love to you @Simone_Biles Team UNITED States of America,” she wrote in a tweet.

Biles, who has rooted for her teammates the whole way through, pulled out from both the women’s gymnastics all-around and the team final, but she hasn’t said that she would be withdrawing from the rest of the Olympics all together.

Stay tuned for more updates from the Tokyo Olympics. See Reitz’s apology for yourself just below.

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