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Champion gymnast Simone Biles is leaving Nike Inc . for a new apparel partnership with GAP’s sportswear brand, Athleta.
In an interview, Biles had nothing negative to say about Nike, instead sharing why she decided to take the leap over to the smaller brand.
“I felt like it wasn’t just about my achievements, it’s what I stood for and how they were going to help me use my voice and also be a voice for females and kids,” she said. “I feel like they also support me, not just as an athlete, but just as an individual outside of the gym and the change that I want to create, which is so refreshing.”
Nike is worth a reported $204 billion, while Gap is valued at $12 billion.
This is the second time a former Nike athlete has crossed over to Athleta. In 2019, they inked a deal with sprinting champion Allyson Felix, slammed the company for failing to support pregnant athletes.
A Nike spokeswoman released a statement saying, “Simone Biles is an incredible athlete and we wish her the very best,” and that “we will continue to champion, celebrate and evolve to support our female athletes.”
Biles is excited about the new venture. In an Instagram post, praised Athleta’s focus on women and girls and its commitment to diversity.
“They are committed to diversity and inclusion, which was really important for me to see in a partner,” Biles said of Athleta. “They have a team that’s primarily women, and that’s how they design their products.”