Simone Biles dropped out of the Olympics. The terrible, awful, loud scumbags of the right, like Piers Morgan, spluttered in outrage.
…Piers Morgan—the former British TV host who has repeatedly mocked Meghan Markle for saying she contemplated suicide and was a victim of racism—jumped at the chance to criticize Biles.
“Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke,” he tweeted. “Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense.”
Or we could go to Charlie Kirk:
You’re representing your nation, you selfish sociopath,the 27-year-old community college dropout huffed.You know who has the gold medal? Russia! I have to look at the 4’11” Olympians chewing on their gold medals smirking at the Americans. I’m not okay with that!
Oh, we can’t let the Russians win! The Russians wouldn’t let such nonsense hamper their competitive drive. Remember Elena Mukhina?
Elena Vyacheslavovna Mukhina (Russian: Елена Вячеславовна Мухина; first name sometimes rendered “Yelena”, last name sometimes rendered “Muchina”; June 1, 1960 – December 22, 2006) was a Soviet gymnast who won the all-around title at the 1978 World Championships in Strasbourg, France. Her career was on the rise, and she was widely touted as the next great gymnastics star until 1979, when a broken leg left her out of several competitions, and the recovery from that injury, combined with pressure to master a dangerous and difficult tumbling move (the Thomas salto) caused her to break her neck two weeks before the opening of the 1980 Summer Olympics, leaving her permanently quadriplegic.
Americans aren’t any better. We thought Béla Károlyi was a hero for forcing Kerri Strug to compete while injured.
In the time interval between Strug’s two vaults, she asked, “Do we need this?” Károlyi [her coach] replied, “Kerri, we need you to go one more time. We need you one more time for the gold. You can do it, you better do it.” Strug thus limped slightly to the end of the runway to make her second attempt. She landed the vault briefly on both feet, almost instantly hopping onto only her good foot, saluting the judges. She then collapsed onto her knees and needed assistance off the landing platform, to which sportscaster John Tesh commented, “Kerri Strug is hurt! She is hurt badly.” The completed vault received a score of 9.712, mathematically guaranteeing the Americans the gold medal, though while it was not known at the time with Roza Galieva of Russia having not yet completed her floor routine, the Americans would still have won the gold by a margin of 0.309 points had Strug not performed a second vault. Károlyi carried her onto the medals podium to join her team, after which she was treated at a hospital for a third-degree lateral sprain and tendon damage. Due to her injury, she was unable to compete in the individual all-around competition and event finals, despite having qualified for both; so Moceanu was chosen to take her place in the all-around, Dawes took her place in the floor final, and Miller took her place in the vault final.
The Olympics has a history of valorizing suffering in the name of national honor, and of granting bullying, authoritarian coaches power over young women, as if that is a good and normal thing to do. Meanwhile, her former coach, Larry Nassar, is in the news for failing to pay the restitution and penalties he owes.
Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 330 girls and women — including Olympians Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.
The internal review of the FBI’s handling of the initial allegations against Nassar was launched in 2018, shortly after Nassar was sentenced to a 60-year term for possessing and receiving child pornography, and a state court sentence of 40 to 175 years for assaulting girls.
It’s telling that the right-wing gasbags are the ones whining about a young woman exercising her autonomy. It’s what they do.
You go, Simone Biles. Standing up to the authoritarian right shows how strong you are.