After fellow Italian Vanessa Ferrari and Ferlito finished fourth and fifth on balance beam just behind Biles Ferlito said with a laugh, “I told Vane that next time we’ll have our skin black also so we can win, too.” Biles won the all-around title earlier in the week, 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 Tuesday, Ferlito tweeted, “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.” She then added, “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.” In trying to explain Ferlito’s remarks, a federation spokesman may have further inflamed the issue. A post on Facebook by “Federazione Ginnastica d’Italia,” which links to the federation’s page on the social networking site, attributes different athletes’ abilities to race. David Ciaralli, the federation spokesman, acknowledged to the Chicago Tribune that he wrote the post. “Possibly in saying this, I made a mistake, and I am sorry,” Ciaralli told the Tribune. “What I said was my thoughts, not the official thoughts of the federation.” USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny still called for an explanation. “USA Gymnastics is disappointed by the recent comments made by Carlotta Ferlito and apparently by the Italian Gymnastics Federation,” Penny said in a statement. “Gymnastics is a global and inclusive sport with talented athletes, and there is no place for racial insensitivity.
It turned out that Klinsmann also needed a spark after a lackluster half against Jamaica. Zusi provided it when he entered the game to a roar from the sellout crowd at Sporting Park on Friday night, and quickly scored the first goal in what would eventually be a 2-0 victory that clinched first place for the Americans in their World Cup qualifying group for the third straight cycle. ”I told Graham, you know, ‘Be ready at halftime. You’re going to play in your home stadium. Don’t worry too much about it,”’ Klinsmann said. ”And he was part of creating more energy, creating more chances, and scoring that goal will be a special memory for him, absolutely.” Jozy Altidore followed Zusi’s 77th-minute goal with his own just four minutes later, sealing the Americans’ fifth straight shutout victory on home soil in World Cup qualifying. ”You always want to be on the field,” Zusi said. ”When I learned I was going to come out in the second half, I was pretty excited to get in there and try to make a stamp on the game.” Klinsmann said his decision to substitute Zusi for Landon Donovan was ”performance-based.” ”We spoke right after the game, and I said it was simply because we wanted to make a change,” Klinsmann said of his conversation with Donovan, ”and you weren’t getting into that game the way you hoped to. And anybody can have a bad game. Other guys had bad games, too.” The U.S. (6-2-1), which clinched its seventh straight World Cup berth last month, has 19 points in North and Central American and Caribbean qualifying and a four-point lead over second-place Costa Rica (4-2-3), which lost 1-0 at third-place Honduras (4-3-2). Jamaica (0-5-4), whose only World Cup appearance was in 1998, was eliminated. ”I told my players that the first 60 minutes, 65 minutes we were fantastic,” Jamaica coach Winfried Schaefer said. ”We just couldn’t score a goal.” Demar Phillips sent a free kick toward the goal that Howard got his mitts on, and Brad Evans managed to clear it just before Darren Mattocks could get his foot on it in front of an open goal.
USA Truck issues statement regarding Knight Transportation suit
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