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misogyny racism the wayward press

Simone Biles steps back from the Olympics to protect her mental health, causing critics who aren’t fit to lick her toes to attack her as a coward

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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Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
1 month ago

Loathsome wretches.

Also, the Olympics is supposedly about celebrating sports bringing the world together, right? Right?

But I guess ‘sports bringing the world together’ and ‘Murica!’ is the same thing to these clowns.

Daughter
Daughter
1 month ago

It’s poisonous réactions like the ones you quoted that cost athletes their mental health. I hope this great artist and sportswoman recovers and can continue to do what she loves and push the boundaries of her discipline.

occasional reader
occasional reader
1 month ago

Funny how it is often the same who are comfortably sit in their couch who are whining the loudest against those who are on the field. To them, it seems that “because” you “support” someone, you are entitled to a victory/success. The kind of persons it would be awful to compete against in sport or game because of them being sore whining losers.
Well, i suppose they are the same who had whined against Naomi Osaka when she stepped off Roland-Garros.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

“selfish psychopathe” projection much ? Because withdrawing from a competition is hardly ever psychopathic in any case.

(it *could* be selfish in the abstract, but not here)

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
1 month ago

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!

Well, if you’re not okay with something, Charles Kirk, then I’m not either. Because it’s always all about you.

Moggie
Moggie
1 month ago

I wonder why these white men are so eager to feel superior to Simone Biles? It’s a mystery!

contrapangloss
contrapangloss
1 month ago

She did the right thing for her, and for her team. If she knew she wasn’t in the right headspace to be able to do well, not sacrificing the team’s success for her own ego (by staying in and doing poorly) is an honorable call.

Like, at my job, if a crane operator thinks to themselves “Eh, I’m having a real hard time focusing” we NEED them to say something and swap to a different operator, because not doing so can get people killed.

I’m glad when people are able to step down. We need more good examples of stepping down. We need to stop glorifying carrying on, even if it leads to disastrous consequences.

Admittedly, there are times and places where just pushing through is required.

But when there is a backup who is more capable at that particular time to do the task? Even if any other day you are more capable?

Pushing through when it isn’t necessary should not be as glorified as it is.

I have a lot of respect for Simone Biles, and her call here does nothing to change that.

sarah_kay_gee
sarah_kay_gee
1 month ago

“You’re representing your nation, you selfish sociopath,” he snorted. “You know who has the gold medal? Russia! … I’m not okay with that!”

“Russia” is not competing in this Olympics, you racist incel.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

So, lemme get this straight. Piers Morgan, the man who walked off his TV show in a gilt-trimmed huff because he couldn’t take a little criticism, is sneering at an athlete who stopped before she injured herself?

To quote the movie Stick It:

Elite gymnastics is like Navy SEALs, only harder. There are like, 2000 Navy SEALs, but there are only like, 200 elite gymnasts. I guess that’s because most kids would rather have a life than spend six hours a day training tricks that could kill you. Look, don’t be fooled by the leotards, people. The things gymnasts do make Navy SEALs look like wusses. And we do them *without* a gun!

Some Chick
Some Chick
1 month ago

People who can’t get off their couch without help are criticizing the gymnastics GOAT like they have any right. She has four gold medals. What exactly does Piers Morgan have? She has nothing left to prove to anyone. These clowns? Not so much.

Alaniel
Alaniel
1 month ago

If anything this makes her a better role model for kids. She knows her limits and isn’t afraid to set healthy boundaries. And as others already mentioned, not continuing when she didn’t feel up to it was likely the best for the others on her team. Not that this last aspect really matters because it’s her health and well-being and she has every right to say stop.

Plus she was the first to congratulate Melnikova after the Russian win, so yeah, definitely a fan of her.

Lakitha K Tolbert
Lakitha K Tolbert
1 month ago

Moggie:

Yeah, we know why!

I’ve said this before, that there are people (most specifically white men but plenty of white women get in on this too) who do nothing but sit on social media, lying in wait for Black women (any Black person in general but for some reason, Black women are their favorite targets) to do anything that’s even remotely controversial, so they can use that as an opportunity to express the things they hate about Black people, that they can’t express to our faces, or say online without looking like racists, and bigots. Above all else, this sort of person doesn’t want to be called racist, although the only time they have critiques of certain types of behavior is when it comes to Black people.

They’re really just trying to hide the fact that they’re racists, behind criticism of Black celebrities.

https://www.businessinsider.com/racist-abuse-icarly-laci-mosley-women-entertainment-racism-2021-5?utm_source=pocket_mylist

Leslie Jones, Kelly Marie Tran, Candace Patton (who has been enduring the vilest, unending, racist harassment on social media for SIX YEARS, such that her employer at CW had to come out and craft a statement about how they will refuse to tolerate it any longer!), Ana Diop, and now Halle Bailey.

It’s not just Black women either. I don’t want to leave that impression because John Boyega has been enduring much the same endless harassment since that first Star Wars trailer aired in 2014!

Seemingly this is all people are doing on social media now. We can talk to and communicate with any human being in the world, but instead, people are simply using social media to be their worst and vilest selves, and I hate to say this, but this is primarily white westerners doing it, (#notallwhitepeople), and I’m still trying to understand the why of this.

Seth S
Seth S
1 month ago

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!

So enter gymnastics and do better than her, then, bro? *snort*
Seriously, this here chubby out of shape fucker would love to see that chubby out of shape fucker do a better job of doing backflips on a 4″ wide piece of wood. And if he can’t, he needs to stop running his mouth.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

@VP : while I don’t know elite gymnasts, regular one are similar to climbers in that they look thin and all but actually have a *ton* of strength. On top of, you know, being super flexible. And quite a bit faster than you would have thought, too.

Similarly, I don’t know any SEALs, but I have talked a bit to retired foreign legionaries, and while it might be age showing, they were more impressive for their endurance and composure than for raw physical aptitudes.

(also, foreign legionaries seem to all be assholes to the last degree, to be clear. I don’t recommend ever talking to one, and if you have to, try to either be a figure of authority or have one handy)

Lakitha K Tolbert
Lakitha K Tolbert
1 month ago

Some Chick:

Have you noticed that the loudest people on social media are the ones who have accomplished nothing more in life than blowing hot air, eating, sh***ing and breathing…
.
This is probably because actual accomplished people are too busy accomplishing stuff to be harshly critiquing strangers online over things that don’t affect them.

Some Chick
Some Chick
1 month ago

Lakitha K Tolbert
Yep, and it would be funny if it didn’t have any real world implications. It’s just so…delusional. Like sure you absolutely know what she’s going through because of that one time you had to sprint to catch your flight. They really need to have their wrong opinions quietly and in private.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
1 month ago

From what I read this morning, Simone Biles has “the twisties”, basically the same thing that is called “the yips” in many other sports, where your body stops automatically doing the things you have trained it to automatically do. In some other sports, one might choose to keep competing with reduced performance. Do to the nature of gymnastics, trying to compete like that can easily get you injured or killed when you land wrong. So she is obviously making the right choice, and those calling her out for it are basically wishing for her to be injured or worse.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

It’s just like when Naomi withdrew from her tennis match for her mental health. The second a woman of color wants to take care of herself and doesn’t bend backwards to perform for others, people want to call her weak and a sociopath

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 month ago

@Victorious Parasol:
As someone who did gymnastics in high school, and martial arts through University, and who these days mostly just uses that to choreograph fight scenes in written stories… yeah, pretty much. Professional gymnasts are an amazing example of what the human body is capable of if someone decides to obsessively focus on something. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and making it look easy is even harder.

I still remember my reaction when a friend showed me a video of Anastasia Sokolova. She’s not a gymnast; she was a pole dancer who was on Ukraine’s Got Talent a few years back. There was one spot in which she was leaning back against the pole, had her hands over her head grasping the pole, and then just rolled her body upwards until her knees were over her head and she could wrap her legs around the pole above her, before letting go with her hands. And she made it look casual, while having a standard lean dancer’s build. And I’m sitting there going ‘Holy !@#$ the level of upper body strength needed to pull that off…’

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
1 month ago

Speaking of Charlie Kirk, am I the only one who hates that he’s (more or less) poisoned the phrase ’Turning Point’ as an organization name? Because if you do a Google search on that phrase and filter out Kirk’s group you get a ton of hits for things like domestic violence shelters, drug/alcohol rehab centers, and homeless shelters using that name. Places dedicated to helping the down and out get up, dust themselves off, and learn new healthier skills for handling their lives again. Which is a much better use of that name than what Kirk’s group is doing with it.

.45
.45
1 month ago

@ Seth S

Yeah, that was my thought too. If these guys are so upset about it, why don’t they go compete instead? Oh right, these guys would lose to the average person in a Get Over the Waist High Obstacle event…

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

@Jenora

My athletic efforts are limited to a few years of fencing, but I still remember what our maestro told us: “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye or a few pints of blood.” Then he’d usually tell us about the study demonstrating that a sharp thing only needs to be sharp for the first inch or so in order to go all the way through the human body … so if he shouted “HOLD!” because a blade broke, you knew that meant FREEZE.

Even casual sports can be dangerous. I couldn’t do what Simone Biles does even if I were in my twenties again, even if you discount the psychological stressors she’s under.

Lakitha K Tolbert
Lakitha K Tolbert
1 month ago

I just want to put this here, because Nique says everything I ever wanted to say about this issue. As someone who quit college for my mental health, this entire issue of Black women stoping to take care of their mental health strikes very close to home for me.

I got nothing but support for the decision that I made from my friends and family, so I don’t begin to understand why people are mad at Naomi, and Simone except under the context of Black women being everybody’s mule, and unselfishly carrying the whole world on our shoulders, and where we are called selfish psychopaths whenever we want to take care of our own needs.

https://youtu.be/V24td-RTf2I

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

@Jenora Feuer : aren’t pole dancers specialized gymnasts anyway ?

As a non-gymnast I can’t tell with precision if their moves are significant easier than gymnast one, but they sure don’t particulary seem so.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

The arrogance and lack of compassion are grating. And I’m sure racism plays a part.

Plus, I sympathize with Biles because I’m also trying to get over a problem and balance group vs. individual needs (in her case, anyway, it seems she made the right decision for both).

I’m trying to overcome a specific anxiety: staying in a building alone. Or just being along in general, like when I walk down a street and I can’t see anybody (esp. in a place that’s not too familiar). I know it’s not logical; it’s just the idea of being alone that makes me anxious.

Lately, whenever I have to stay overnight in a place by myself, I haven’t been able to get much sleep. I can’t seem to turn off my “on alert” mode – my heart beats fast and the sensation of that prevents me from sleeping (although if I lie on my back long enough I might doze off near the morning, from exhaustion).

I only got two hours of sleep last night, so today my parents are coming back after staying 1 night away when at first they planned to stay 4 days. It’s not like they’re losing money on a planned trip or a rental, they’re just at my uncle’s cottage, but I feel bad to take them away from their vacation.

I don’t know whether I’ll need therapy again or just time/practice. I had 10 free sessions with public health the past fall, but it was just on the phone and the therapist was trained to deal with general anxiety, not to help people overcome specific phobias. Dunno if this is a phobia exactly, but it’s particularly hard to deal with now, because I just had the 2nd vaccine on Monday and low fever/fatigue might be a side effect. A larger thing is that my boyfriend is moving away this week (just to the next province, but then in January to England for a year and a half). But I have to be more independent and flexible about changes.

Anyway, this is nothing like the danger and pressure of competing in the Olympics; I just felt like venting. Sorry for the long post!

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
1 month ago

Charlie Kirk calling someone else a sociopath is going to cause the Earth to implode under the crushing weight of irony.

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
1 month ago

@epitome: all the hugs. I hope you can get some relief soon.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
1 month ago

@epitome

I use a night light, the times I’m alone and trying to sleep. One of those tiny fake candles, so it’s both dim and active at the same time. Works wonders for me.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 month ago

@Ohlmann:
Pretty much. I suppose what I should have said was that she wasn’t a professional gymnast.

DrVanNostrand
DrVanNostrand
1 month ago

@moregeekthan

Thank you for pointing that out. I skimmed through the comments to see if anyone else would mention it, but I think it’s an EXTREMELY important thing. She’s losing track of where she is in the air, and changing things on the fly to compensate. She’s not just protecting her mental health, she’s literally protecting her PHYSICAL health. Of course, garbage people like Piers Morgan don’t care, but everyone who isn’t total garbage should care about that very much. I’m sure he also objects to NFL rules that try to reduce traumatic brain injury, because if our paid monkey performers aren’t risking their lives for our entertainment, what’s the point?

ProNEETheus, the
ProNEETheus, the
1 month ago

“aren’t fit to lick her toes…”

I’m sure we could all do without having to hear your sexual fantasies, David. Do you picture yourself as being qualified to slobber on her digits?

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
1 month ago

@ProNEETheus, the

“aren’t fit to lick her toes…”

I’m sure we could all do without having to hear your sexual fantasies, David. Do you picture yourself as being qualified to slobber on her digits?

Go back to the manosphere, troll.

Sharl
Sharl
1 month ago

As if benching herself because she’s off her game and could be seriously hurt, let alone pull her team’s score down, makes her any less the G.O.A.T. 🙄 Kirk and Morgan and the rest of those useless, hateful twatwaffles aren’t fit to share a species with her.

Hambeast
Hambeast
1 month ago

DrVanNostrand – It wouldn’t surprise me even a little if Charlie Kirk did object to the NFL trying to reduce brain injuries. Many people have and do; it’s one of the (many) reasons I gave up being a US football fan. There was much strum and drang over the (then proposed) rule changes that were decried as ruining their very manly game and turning it into no-contact ballet or something. Naturally, the ones doing the most yelling were people who never even played the game and whose brain cells were in no danger (from contact sports, anyway.)

Of course, that was almost six years ago and I have no idea what rules have or have not been actually been changed.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

I have never been a gymnast but I have been in ballet for 17 years and aerial silks for 3, I could never be anywhere near Simone but when I watch her I’m amazed by the upper body strength and grace she possesses. You have to be the in the right mindset to do the things she does. I’ve done far less intense things then her and I’ve broken toes, fractured my ankle, broken my wrist. one little slip and your entire body weight comes crashing down one single point of your body and things break. You mess up in the things she’s doing and you die.

I can’t imagine doing any bar involved sports like that. The three times I have tired to pole dance I have hurt myself each time because it’s so different from the styles I’m use to.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

@ProNEETheus, the – You’re being silly. Not every expression is sex-related. E.g. if someone told me to fuck off, I wouldn’t assume they meant to propel myself in the opposite direction by means of sexual intercourse.

@Sheila Crosby, thank you!

@Threp – And thank you too – you gave me an idea. Although the dark itself doesn’t bother me, next time I can try putting a radio on at a low volume.

And I’m feeling better now, but my boyfriend had a tough time yesterday: first the person who said she’d buy his washer and dryer didn’t show up, then the truck he rented for the move was in a different place than the company said, and then he couldn’t figure out how to get to the highway through all the construction.

So he came over to my parents’ place near midnight, since he was near our part of town, and it was good they were there too because my dad, bless him, went out in his own car and showed him an alternate route.

Now, he probably could have figured it out just through Google maps on my computer (he doesn’t have a phone with Internet data), but it’s refreshing to experience some interpersonal niceness after a round of impersonal frustrations.

Anyway, he’s coming back on Saturday for the rest of his things and I’m going with him to spend a week at his mom’s place. I don’t think it will unnerve me too much be a passenger on a long drive – I hope not, anyway. When I was small, my parents would drive me around at night to get me to go to sleep (yes, I was that kind of baby).

Last edited 1 month ago by epitome of incomrepehensibility
Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@epitome

Creepy troll is just telling us that he finds toes sexual.

ProNEETheus, the
ProNEETheus, the
1 month ago

@elaine

I’m not the one conjuring up images of men that [I] find repulsive licking the toes of an Olympic athlete; David is getting off on the idea of conservative men with superior wealth and status being forced to genuflect and leave their saliva on a black woman’s toes.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@ProNEETheus

Sure, whatever you say toe sucker. If you want to suck toes, that’s your business. I prefer to suck cock and cunt myself but you know. stop projecting onto David. maybe just keep your kinks to yourself okay Sugar.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 month ago

Elaine wrote:

I have never been a gymnast but I have been in ballet for 17 years and aerial silks for 3, I could never be anywhere near Simone but when I watch her I’m amazed by the upper body strength and grace she possesses. You have to be the in the right mindset to do the things she does. I’ve done far less intense things then her and I’ve broken toes, fractured my ankle, broken my wrist. one little slip and your entire body weight comes crashing down one single point of your body and things break. You mess up in the things she’s doing and you die.

I had never heard of aerial silk until recently, when on YouTube I stumbled on a really amazing performance by a Hungarian athlete by surname Vellai (her first name is like “Christina” but I can’t replicate the exact spelling). It looked mesmerizing even compared to elite gymnastics, and certainly very physically demanding, and very dangerous if you slip.

Incidentally, when young spiders drift along wind suspending themselves on floating silk threads, it’s called “ballooning”, but I think “aerial silk” would be a more fitting term.

Malitia
Malitia
1 month ago

(…) when on YouTube I stumbled on a really amazing performance by a Hungarian athlete by surname Vellai (her first name is like “Christina” but I can’t replicate the exact spelling).

It spelled “Krisztina” (when you wrote you can’t replicate the spelling I fully expected it to have accents or something, Hungarian is kinda heavy on those). She is (apparently, I googled) an acrobat at the Capital Circus of Budapest.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 month ago

Sorry, I primarily meant I couldn’t remember the correct letters with reasonable certainty, and didn’t bother to dig up and check the name. Though I did have a vague memory as if the spelling was more complicated than that.

BTW I think “Vellai” sounds really cool.

Makroth
Makroth
1 month ago

@Prunt

Nothing about those pond-scum makes them superior to her.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@Lumipuna

I would say that I am still at a very basic level. It was offered at my school so I took the classes. I have broken my wrist while doing it and I wasn’t even that high off of the ground. My feet got tangled and my hands slip so my feet were still in the air but my top half came falling down. I tried to catch my self on my hands to protect my face and landes the wrong way on my hand. It has made my hand calluses like crazy. The finger print reader on my computer can’t read my finger print anymore. For anyone to go into that sport without being in the right mind set is a disaster waiting to happen. I think what Simone does it far more dangerous then what I am doing and what I am doing still puts my neck on the line. I’m just happy she’s didn’t get hurt and that she’s working through it.

Allandrel
Allandrel
1 month ago

Whenever the risks of injury to athletes comes up, there seems to be a huge crowd that think the athletes may as well start every competition by chanting “Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant.”

(“Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you” – supposedly said by Roman gladiators, though this is unlikely.)

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

@ProNEETheus

I’m not the one conjuring up images of men that [I] find repulsive licking the toes of an Olympic athlete; David is getting off on the idea of conservative men with superior wealth and status being forced to genuflect and leave their saliva on a black woman’s toes.

*cough* Ducky, that’s not what David wrote. He said that certain critics of Simone Biles were not fit to lick her toes. You don’t have to indulge in shrimping to use that sort of language. It’s just a colorful expression used to express judgment of Simone Biles’ critics.

Personally I would’ve written “not fit to carry her dirty towels” or “not fit to wash her leotards” or “the men who criticize Simone Biles are all hat and no cattle” or “Biles’ critics are as useless as a windshield on a billy goat” or “I’m fixin’ to get all big sister furious on Simone Biles’ critics,” but as her fellow Texan, I feel obliged to be positively FLAMBOYANT in her defense. Not that she needs my help – she’s a credit to the Lone Star State even if she retires from gymnastics tomorrow.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 month ago

Elaine – Sorry for your injury. At least you have been doing (and continue to do) some cool physical things. I wasn’t remotely athletic even at your age, but I’ve sometimes hurt myself just taking leisure walks in icy winter conditions.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@Lumipuna

Well I’ve also dislocated my hip from sitting down to hard and dislocated my jaw from yawning to wide so it’s not exactly like humans are immune from hurting ourselves in stupid ways just because we’re athletic lol. Happens to everyone I think.

Ann
Ann
1 month ago

The US women won today.

I’m glad Simone Biles did not compete. That Yurxhenko vault is terrifying to watch.