So Time magazine has labeled greatest-of-all-time gymnast Simone Biles as the “Athlete of the Year,” not so much for her athletic prowess, which is considerable, but for taking herself out of several Olympic events when she knew she wasn’t mentally prepared to compete — thus starting a national conversation about athletic competition and mental/physical health.
Are Fox News hosts or guests human? It’s something I found myself wondering, and not for the first time, while watching a recent clip from Laura Ingraham’s terrible show in which she and guest Raymond Arroyo mulled over superstar gymnast Simone Biles’ decision to drop out of a number of events at the Olympics because she couldn’t get her head in the game.
You don’t need a PhD in Critical Race Theory to notice that a lot of the knuckleheads talking shit about Simone Biles for dropping out of the Olympics are white dudes who couldn’t do a single cartwheel to save their lives. Piers Morgan. Charlie Kirk. Ben Shapiro.
On Tuesday, record-shattering gymnast Simone Biles, evidently rattled by an unexpectedly poor performance on the vault, decided to withdraw herself from the team event for the sake of her own mental health — and the performance of her team, which she was afraid of dragging down due to a less-than-100% focus on her performance.
And let’s not kid ourselves: she was also protecting her ow physical health. She could easily have injured herself, even broken her neck, if she hadn’t been able to keep her mind in the game.
Biles, so good at what she does that she’s single-handedly redefining what gymnastics even is, won praise from empathetic observers for taking care of herself when she most needed to.
On the non-empathetic right, not so much.
Just a couple of days ago right-wingers were literally rooting against too “woke” American athletes in the Olympics. Now somehow the righties have collectively regained their sense of patriotism — because it gives them the perfect opportunity to drag Biles for her alleged selfishness in dropping out of one event.
“There’s No ‘I’ In Team, But There Is In Simone Biles,” sniffed Kylee Zempel in the Federalist. “Sorry, Simone Biles, The Olympics Isn’t About You, It’s About America,” added Federalist editor John Daniel Davidson in a second hectoring post.
On Twitter, the abrasive, much-hated Piers Morgan launched into Biles with a couple of snooty Tweets.
Professional reactionary ideologue Charles Kirk of Turning :Point USA denounced Biles as a “shame to this country.”
“You’re representing your nation, you selfish sociopath,” he snorted. “You know who has the gold medal? Russia! … I’m not okay with that!”
Kirk also suggested that “we are raising a generation of weak people like Simone Biles,” as if anything about Biles could be considered “weak.”
Meanwhile the Daily Wire’s wrong-opinion-haver Matt Walsh attacked those who showed sympathy towards Biles.
From the way that Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is being praised this week, you might think that the decorated superstar put on a heroic display during the team competition in Tokyo and led her squad to a gold medal. …
It was all perhaps the most effusive praise that has ever been heaped on a quitter.
That is what Simone Biles did to earn this exuberant applause. She gave up.
Just a few days ago, you may recall, Walsh was happily rooting against the US:
The US Women’s soccer team went on to win their next game and tie a third; they’re going to the quarterfinals.
It seems to me that maybe they’re not the embarassment here, any more than Biles is. Walsh, meanwhile, humiliates himself virtually every time he opens his mouth.
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