Gymnast Simone Biles’ Adoptive Family Belittled by NBC News Commentator

Al Trautwig needs some lessons in adoption - stat.

Denalee Chapman August 08, 2016
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Whether you’re a fan of the amazing USA Women’s Gymnastic Team at the Olympics, or a fan of adoption or both, this story will enrage you. NBC News Commentator Al Trautwig has repeatedly referred to Simone Biles ’ parents as her grandfather and his wife. Besides not calling her mom by name (quite an insult!), he refuses to acknowledge that Ron and Nellie Biles are Simone’s parents.

Take a look at this article and video for a quick background on Simone’s early life and adoption by her maternal grandparents. Clearly, Simone’s parents are her PARENTS. How anyone can be so ignorant so as to suggest that adoptive parents aren’t real parents is beyond me. Makes me wonder if Al Trautwig has children. And if he does, what kind of a parent he is. How does he define parent? Is it simply being a biological contribution to the creation of life? If so, that certainly lowers expectations on parenthood.

Trautwig’s insults didn’t end with the passive-aggressive way he denounced Simone’s parents.  When he was called out on Twitter for his repeated remarks, take a look at his response. What a goober. And why isn’t NBC all over fixing this blatantly ignorant expression of yuck? I’m not calling for him to lose his employment, but GEEZ. Send someone else to cover the Olympics, NBC. Puh-leeze. And let’s keep him away from the Taekwondo competition in Rio, where Team USA has another incredible adoptee competing. The amazing Paige McPherson is expected to do very well. And she attributes much of her progress and success to the support and encouragement of her parents. And yes, Trautwig, her adoptive parents are really her PARENTS.


So here’s an open call to everyone in the public’s eye.  Step out of your shadows of ignorance and show some respect. If you’re not educated on adoption or any other thing, really . . . just keep your opinions to yourself. Adoptees love their parents, and adoptive parents love their children. Just leave it at that, okay?

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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