UCLA gymnasts express displeasure on Twitter, call for attention of UCLA Athletics
UCLA gymnastics coach Chris Waller walks around during a meet in the 2021 season. (Kanishka Mehra/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Jon Christon and Sam Settleman
Jan. 20, 2022 2:47 p.m.
This post was updated Jan. 25 at 1:03 p.m.
Amid unverified rumors in relation to the transfer of freshman Alexis Jeffrey and speculation of unrest within the UCLA gymnastics program, senior Margzetta Frazier tweeted a request for the UCLA Athletics administration.
“Can you talk to our coaches please,” Frazier tweeted in a reply to UCLA Athletics Director Martin Jarmond on Thursday morning.
Can you talk to our coaches please
— Margzetta (@IAmMargzetta) January 20, 2022
Coach Chris Waller said in media availability Thursday that he would not comment on Frazier’s tweet when asked about it.
“I don’t think I’m going to comment on that right now,” Waller said.
Senior gymnast Norah Flatley followed up her teammate’s tweet two hours later, asking Jarmond for clarity.
“We are saddened that we’ve exhausted every avenue to have this issue addressed and have not heard or seen from you in over 3 months,” Flatley tweeted. “Please respond to the email I sent you.”
@MartinJarmond we are saddened that we’ve exhausted every avenue to have this issue addressed and have not heard or seen from you in over 3 months. Please respond to the email I sent you.
— Norah Flatley (@norah_flatley) January 20, 2022
Frazier and sophomore Chae Campbell retweeted Flatley’s tweet.
On Tuesday, Jarmond put out a statement responding to the tweets.
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes is always our priority,” Jarmond wrote. “We have exceptional young women in our gymnastics program; their strength, resilience and commitment to one another is exemplary. I met with the gymnastics student-athletes to have a conversation and listen to all perspectives about their experiences. I heard from each one of our student-athletes.”
Jarmond added that the Athletics department has sought support from “experts on equity, diversity and inclusion, incidents of bias, mental-health and communication” over the past three and a half months to help with the situation.
“Some of these experts met directly with the student-athletes, while others worked directly with the coaches, and some worked with both groups,” Jarmond wrote. “As we move forward, we will continue to work with student-athletes, coaches, campus and eternal partners on how best to support this team.”
A statement from athletic director Martin Jarmond. pic.twitter.com/PzAaL22HMO
— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) January 25, 2022
The social media activity from the players comes after Waller confirmed to The Bruin on Monday that Jeffrey had left the program. Jeffrey has since put “LSU Gymnastics” in both her Twitter and Instagram bios, and LSU gymnastics’ coach Jay Clark confirmed Jeffrey’s transfer.
Waller said Thursday he could not comment on the specifics of Jeffrey’s transfer.
“I can’t comment on anything with Alexis as she’s no longer a student at UCLA,” Waller said.