When I wrote about Naomi Osaka withdrawing from the French Open a couple of months ago, I talked about how Naomi withdrawing was a result of the press’s constant discussion of Naomi’s desire not to speak to the press during the tournament. If say Ash Barty had decided not to speak to the press, you would’ve heard it mentioned a few times and that would’ve been it.
I mention this because some of the reactions to Simone Biles withdrawing from the Team Gymnastics Final today, mostly from white men, involve people being HYPERCRITICAL of Simone and saying she let her team down.
So let me explain why that’s not true. Firstly, Simone said she wasn’t where she needed to be mentally today. She said she didn’t want to “do something stupid” and take Team USA completely out of medal contention. So she actually chose to withdraw for the benefit of the team. Secondly, in qualifying, Team USA came in second because Simone wasn’t performing her best. Today, Team USA…came in second. So Simone’s withdrawal literally didn’t affect the end result of the Final.
Let’s be clear, the level of difficulty at which Simone Biles competes is dangerous. If she’s not feeling it mentally, she shouldn’t compete because she could seriously injure herself.
Unless you’re Simone Biles, whoever reads this will never experience the immense pressure Simone Biles is under in this Olympics as the face of it, as far as America is concerned at least. She is the greatest gymnast in HISTORY, woman or man, and the most decorated. Therefore, when she isn’t excelling, people see that as a failure, even though she made it into the individual finals for every event.
Some idiot on Twitter said Michael Jordan faced immense pressure and he never quit on his team. Michael Jordan never faced the amount of pressure Simone Biles does because Michael Jordan is a man and in a sexist, misogynistic, patriarchal society, people will forgive a man everything and forgive a woman nothing. If Michael Jordan had “failed,” he would never have experienced the vitriol people are currently spewing against Simone Biles. From what I hear, on gymnastics sites, people are hoping Simone Biles fails. No one would ever have wished that on Michael Jordan, or a white woman for that matter.
I told my therapist that given the last 16 months we’ve all had, I think the world is heading for a major mental health crisis we are not at all prepared for. Let’s not forget elite athletes experienced the pandemic too. They just did it from nicer houses.
At the end of the day, on your best day, you will never be as good as Simone Biles is at gymnastics on her worst, so you should really keep your mouth closed. PERIOD.
Oh and one last thing. I will beat y’all’s asses behind
Megan Thee Stallion
so if you don’t have something positive to say, keep their names out your mouth.