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Star Gymnast Simone Biles Leaves Nike for Gap's Athleta

Four-time Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles ends her Nike sponsorship for Gap’s Athleta.
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Four-time Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles announced Friday that she was ending her Nike  (NKE) - Get Nike Inc. Report sponsorship for Gap’s  (GPS) - Get Gap Inc. (The) Report Athleta because it better reflects her values.

“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 told The Wall Street Journal.

“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," Biles said.

A Nike spokeswoman told The Journal: “Simone Biles is an incredible athlete and we wish her the very best. We will continue to champion, celebrate and evolve to support our female athletes.”

Biles’ move didn’t affect Nike stock, which recently traded $129.92, up 0.57%. It has jumped 46% over the past six months, slightly less than the S&P 500, amid strong demand for its products.

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But Nike stock has slid 7% in the last three months amid concern about valuation and a potential drop in its China business as a result of its criticism of China’s human rights policy in Xiang province.

On Thursday, Vanessa Bryant, the widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, elected not to renew the Kobe Bryant estate's partnership with Nike.

Earlier this week, Nike signed a deal with BYU Quarterback Zach Wilson, the likely second overall pick in the NFL draft next week.

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Gap rose 1.59% to $33.77 on Friday.