I felt that the feminist hypocrisy allowing Simone Biles to bail on her team when it depended on her as its star and foundation was enough; for once in 20121, the racial angle wasn’t necessary to get into. Am I convinced that if Mary Lou Retton had similarly withdrawn from the Olympics competition because she felt like she had “the weight of the world” on her shoulders she would have also been given a big group hug, near unanimous sympathy and “the King’s Pass”? Yes, I do.
However, defiant conservative black sports pundit Jason Whitlock has taken a racial approach to the Biles fiasco, and as is usually the case with Whitock, he takes no prisoners. Also as usual, he’s spot on.
“‘Make Sports Racist Again.’ That appears to be the goal. We want the sports world to reflect the sensibilities of the early 1900s, when everyone picked sides based on skin color. Life was easier back then; it required far less thought.”
“Her early departure from the team competition destroyed any chance of the U.S. winning the gold medal. It was a selfish, narcissistic act, a deed that perfectly defines coddled and selfie-obsessed Millennials. The only people who don’t see it this way are the growing number of sports experts and fans who interpret all actions through a racial lens….They don’t see an elite athlete folding in her biggest moment. They see a black woman who must be defended as though the plight of black people depends on her reputation.”
- “…they see yet another wounded, helpless black person in need of saving. We’re all just baby seals incapable of surviving failure without the sustenance and empathy of massive amounts of warm white and chocolate breast milk.”
- “I’m not saying we needed to pile on Biles. But we know damn well she wouldn’t be receiving this kind of support if she were a white athlete, or even a male athlete.”
- “Simone Biles cracked. She choked. She quit. And then she threw out a popular excuse she knew few people would question out of fear of appearing insensitive and being accused of racism.”
- “Whatever her motivation, our reaction to her failure shouldn’t be color-coded and color-driven. She let the nation and her teammates down. She should be held accountable for that. There’s nothing heroic about quitting”
All true, and echoing much of what the commentariat has opined here in the past 24 hours.
22 thoughts on “Gee, Jason Whitlock, What Do You REALLY Think About Simone Biles’ Quitting On The Olympics?”
I do not think Mary Lou Retton would have been given a carte blanc pass. I think she was admired because she was tough as nails. If she’d quit, that would have been gone.
My favorite aspect of Jason Whitlock is his refusal to think that black people need the approval and confirmation of what people to be legitimized. He’s not waiting for white people to tell him he’s wonderful.
Dammit. White people, not what people.
There’s a lot to like about Jason Whitlock’s varnish bereft commentary, he definitely, and refreshingly, lacks the All Race All The Time gene, and he’s one of the precious few sportswriters I’ll go out of my way to read.
He reminds me of another favorite, the late/great Mike Royko, whose steadfast immunity to the What About Our FEELZ demographic was the stuff of legend.
Mike Royko was my favorite grumpy columnist back in the day. One of my favorite bits from him was “Like all bad ideas, this one comes from California. Oh, why didn’t Superman mind his own business and let Lex Luthor drop it into the ocean?”
Even when I disagreed with him, he was fun to read.
Other than I have hair, don’t wear glasses, and can only dream of writing with such passionate clarity and biting wit, Mike Royko and I have a lot in common…..
Don’t get me started on the Land of Fruit Cakes and Nut Cases…
Not only is Biles getting a pass, she’s earning praise:
Turns out she’s a hero and a role model. The writer of this piece is a woman of color.
This is something that bugs me:
She is a hero for quitting because she believed she was not fit to compete.
If she had powered through in spite of whatever mental issues she had, then, win or lose, she would have also been praised for her courage and strength.
The outcome is the same, whether she competes or not.
That should be a clue that something strange is going on.
Not so strange—a flaming double standard. If A and Not-A are equally admirable, then someone is getting lied to or about.
Lefty cant. Day is night. Black is white. Up is down. It’s not what it is. It’s all about the narrative and the narrative is unhinged from reality and made up out of whole cloth. Control.
Here’s some more woke analysis of what one is supposed to think about women at the Olympics:
To paraphrase an old saw, I guess the women athletes are saying to competitive sports: “You’re perfect. I love you. Now change.” What’s not to like?
America used to be associated with very masculine qualities: toughness, stoicism, risk-taking. This reputation did not exclude American women. Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Calamity Jane, Amelia Earhart.
It’s easy to point out the Generation X and millennials’ glaring lack of these qualities, but to me it’s their parents who steered America wrong. Specifically every boomer who jumped on the socialist bandwagon and participated in the 1960s and 70s revolutions against marriage, Christianity, monogamy, patriotism, sobriety, and hard work. The ones who think Woodstock was some kind of beautiful, transformative event. The ones who wax nostalgic about the “Summer of Love” when their poorly-raised grandkids turn chunks of Seattle into murder-dystopias. The generation that necessitated the invention of the term “latch-key kid” to describe their neglected children.
So I perused Simone Biles’ Wikipedia page, and, sure enough…in and out of foster care…abandoned by Mom…no Dad ever in the picture. Showed incredible talent that was her ticket to a secure future, only to be one of the gymnasts sexually exploited by serial abuser and boomer Larry Nassau. Diagnosed with ADHD; currently on medication. These are the symptoms of growing up in a world created by the values of the 60s and 70s. We can mock them for not knowing how to talk to girls, change a tire, be in a stable relationship, or cope with stress…but these are things people learn from their dads, their faith, and their stable community of neighbors, extended family, and church. Younger generations were not only not given those things; they were taught they didn’t need them.
It’s not that Simone Biles isn’t fully accountable for her own actions, but there’s a larger cultural problem here. Russia and China are emphasizing toughness, family and masculinity in their culture and in their militaries. Before long they’ll be beating us at more than Olympic games.
Yes, and Comment of the Day. As I have so far failed to articulate in a long-promised post, this was also the issue in the pandemic response. America was built on an ethos of being tough, taking risks, and being accountable. It cannot exist as envisioned if we abandon these foundational values.
“Russia and China are emphasizing toughness, family and masculinity in their culture and in their militaries”
While I agree with most of your observations, I’m very familiar with PRC military writings on the challenges of assimilating the current generation of recruits into the PLA – both officers and enlisted. At the top of the list – recruits are self-serving, focused on WIIFM/$$$, and have little appreciation for traditional concepts such as sacrificing for the common good and teamwork. (Sound familiar?) Interestingly, much of the blame is attributed to the nefarious influence of Western culture & values on Chinese society.
Or, in the words of an old song: How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree)?
I’m sure you’re right; my only basis for saying that was Chinese government recruitment propaganda and the like. The contrast is still stark considering the recruitment ads the U.S. has put out there recently. They’re probably at least partially right about the negative influence of the modern West, too. I know very little about China but I’ve seen first hand how many good and unique things in Indian culture are being permanently obliterated by American influence. In the digital age it’s impossible to stave off.
“There’s nothing heroic about quitting.”
Exactly right. This obsession with worshiping feelings instead of trying to act as a virtuous person is maddening. She had an obligation to her country and her teammates. Forget the fans. Just think of the honor of being able to represent your country at the highest level of a sport. And think of the loyalty you should feel to your teammates at this highest level, all who have worked incredibly hard to get there.
There is no doubt Biles is absurdly good. I have no doubt she’s worked hard and sacrificed immensely in her life. Anyone who has been as good as she has would have to do so. But, something has changed. Like Whitlock says, her decision seems narcissistic.
“Like all bad ideas, this one comes from California. Oh, why didn’t Superman mind his own business and let Lex Luthor drop it into the ocean?”
Bond saved it too! Damn interfering poms!
Don’t worry, it’s going to happen one day!
I don’t know where this idea originated that California is going to fall into the ocean after some major earthquake. California isn’t “hanging” over the water; it is on top of the earths crust. Part of California is on the Pacific plate and part is on the North American plate, they move horizontally (along the San Adreas fault). There will be a huge earthquake someday, but part of California will not slide into the ocean.
Of course, maybe people know that and are just hoping and praying it will sink into the ocean.
“maybe people know that and are just hoping and praying it will sink into the ocean.” (bolds mine)
They’d be better off hoping and praying for Land Subsidence?
Ah, Edward, You messed (geologically correctly, of course) with one of my favorite all-time cartoons. I’m pretty sure it was in Science Fiction & Fantasy Magazine in the 70s. It’s a two-cel, I think. First is the map of the contiguous states, indicating a massive quake taking place along a fault line following the Eastern border of California. Second is the outline of the Golden State, standing alone between the two oceans, I had been living in Tokyo for four or five years at the time; scarcely a week went by without a bit of a tremor, People went on about their business. When I eventually wound up living in (shh! don’t tell!) San Francisco, my main reaction, if any, was “good! it’s nice and limber; not uptight getting ready to bust open.” I still prefer this to the tornado, hurricane/typhoon, floods and an avalanche I’ve experienced elsewhere, … If the woke would just go back to sleep, it would be Perfect.
Someday I’ll pull together a longer post about this general idea, but the short version is that I find it fascinating that Suni Lee–also an ethnic minority (she’s Hmong), and the gold medalist in the all-around competition that Simone Biles dropped out of–is being praised for exhibiting precisely the qualities Biles did not: dealing with pressure, staying focused, etc. Still, though, her accomplishment will always have that asterisk.
Quick: who was the women’s champion at Wimbledon this year? And who was the biggest story in women’s tennis? Hint: not the same person.
Eventually, perhaps, we’ll celebrate those who succeed more than (or at least as much as) those who didn’t… even if the latter had a really good reason. I retain a sliver of hope that Biles (unlike Osaka) might have been well-advised to withdraw, Gymnastics is a dangerous sport, and competing at the top level when you’re not confident in yourself is incredibly risky. That’s why I balk at saying Biles “betrayed” her teammates. Let them down, yes. It’s possible she might deserve sympathy. I’m stopping short of praise, though.