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Thu Jul 29, 2021, 03:52 AM

The more I think about it, the more I see Simone Biles performed a revolutionary act

First Piers Morgan goes after Simone Biles, then some well educated idiot from The Federalist mansplains "The Olympics Isn’t About You, It’s About Winning For America," and now an assistant attorney general for the state of Texas has tweet-called out "our selfish, childish national embarrassment, Simone Biles."

This young lady struck a nerve, apparently. Beware the wrath of the third-tier establishment characters.

Wow. I thought it would just be one or two aberrant voices. I'll admit that at first I even found it laughable how anyone could be upset at an athlete for making a basic safety decision. But if it was just that, then it would be just simple jealousy--a simple why didn't she play through the pain? If it had been me I would have gone for it, baby. It's not just that. Much as I personally loathe identity politics as a label, this outrage from white male officials is a moment defined by powerful white male identity politics. Trust me, over the next few days we will hear lots more non-acrobats do more performative outrage over a gymnast recognizing the potential for an injury.

In this political climate (and this IS political) hateful intolerant men are almost coming out of the woodwork to express anger and contempt at this accomplished young woman. And why are they attacking Simone Biles right now?

1. Because she's black. Over the past few years she hasn't just been winning at gymnastics, she's been redefining the boundaries of the sport. And when a young black woman, a confident young black woman, does that, it means other boundaries can also be exceeded.

2. Because she has survived a sexual assault by an Olympics approved official. And I'm not saying her critics are in favor of sexual assault. But the fact of reported sexual assault reassures hetero men--hetero men who would never commit a violence sexual act--but yet it reassures us where the power lies.

3. Because she walked away from the game. Now, of course, she didn't really "walk away from the game." She's honored the game with heroic accomplishments and hard won excellence for many years. But in the entertainment component of sports, even financially well rewarded athletes are performing for the amusement of the powerful, no different than Roman gladiators. If the sports events keep us happy, the powerful officials up in the skyboxes can look down and feel safer in their positions. Maybe not literally, but if you're in the sky box it sure feels that way. And if you're a lesser official, you can still identify with that power. "We're in the Olympics and the gold makes our flag look good." These powerful athletes are performing for us. They make our crowds happy for us.

But in making a rational decision, a wise tactical decision, to not stick her health and safety on the line for a flag event, Simone Biles reminds us and reminds them that, to the athlete, it's just a day on the job. It's not a validation of our flag or someone's power. This is her work; she's the expert on what's safe and appropriate and what's worth the risk.

She's saying, "I'm not doing this for you." She's saying it to powerful white men who do not want to hear the message that the spectacle of the Olympics isn't in praise of their fine stewardship of the state. It's the work of a young athlete, a sharp brilliant athlete, who has told them "My safety is more important than your games."

They attack her now, because they do not like it when someone else is in charge.

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Reply The more I think about it, the more I see Simone Biles performed a revolutionary act (Original post)
Bucky Jul 2021 OP
Goonch Jul 2021 #1
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 2021 #2
Bucky Jul 2021 #4
Traildogbob Jul 2021 #3
ancianita Jul 2021 #6
malaise Jul 2021 #8
joshcryer Jul 2021 #12
CatWoman Jul 2021 #14
joshcryer Jul 2021 #18
Bucky Jul 2021 #21
twodogsbarking Jul 2021 #5
TreasonousBastard Jul 2021 #7
Scrivener7 Jul 2021 #9
fishwax Jul 2021 #10
Bucky Jul 2021 #11
Rocknation Jul 2021 #13
Claire Oh Nette Jul 2021 #22
PunkinPi Jul 2021 #15
Rocknation Jul 2021 #17
PunkinPi Jul 2021 #19
Dawson Leery Jul 2021 #16
mathematic Jul 2021 #20

Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 04:31 AM

1. Simone Rules

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 04:44 AM

2. I suspect a white gymnast would get more sympathy from the CONservatives & those 3 in 1st para. . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 06:38 AM

4. Oh definitely

I think a white openly queer gymnast, one who "coded" as LBGTQ, could be seen as a defiance of the political power structure that benefits from the Olympics would also face a backlash similar. But this is still the USA, so I feel like the white v black racing dynamic was always going to overpower any other consideration, even though it literally has nothing to do with the events.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 05:42 AM

3. They way they think

Of all black athletes. Shut up and dribble. Dance for me monkey. Win the game for me, then get out of my sight. Not at all surprised by those “supreme” whities. BuyBull toting gun glinging.

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Response to Traildogbob (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 06:52 AM

6. +1

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Response to Traildogbob (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 07:26 AM

8. THIS n/t

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Response to Traildogbob (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 10:29 AM

12. 100% racist bullshit.

Last edited Thu Jul 29, 2021, 12:10 PM - Edit history (1)

edit: to clarify, I am not calling the poster above racist I am saying that the reason they are singling out Simone is racism.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #12)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 10:36 AM

14. actually

"I" think that poster is spot on.

Funny how only you see racism.

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Response to CatWoman (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 11:14 AM

18. I think that's what that poster was indicating.

I do not see them behaving this way over a white athlete.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #18)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 01:28 PM

21. Thank you. I tried to say it best I could.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 06:49 AM

5. Give her some peace.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 07:23 AM

7. Remember "No mas"? There are times when you've made your point and there's no sense...

going on.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 08:14 AM

9. And at great cost to herself. She was in an impossible position, where whatever

she chose was going to bring hardship.

I'm just glad she chose the path that allows her to be physically safe and take care of herself. In many ways, it was the harder path to choose.

What a horror. And she's only 24. She's just a kid. And the whole world is judging her crisis. I could never have handled that at that age.

She made a good decision.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 08:54 AM

10. Great summary! Another important aspect: it's attention to mental health and well being

Conservatives have long been resistant to efforts to address mental health and well being whether it's Reagan emptying the hospitals or anti-semitic conspiracy theories connecting psychiatry to judaism and communists, or conservative Christian resistance to anything promoting self esteem in schools.

If she'd pulled out because of a physical injury, they would still be critical of her and try to undermine her GOAT status, but the fact that this is potentially a galvanizing moment in our treatment of mental health is a factor, I think.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 10:28 AM

11. Yes

We should definitely recognize the "me too" component of this controversy has serious mental health repercussions on how we treat athletes... and really all our fellow citizens.

Simone Biles has run a juggernaut for many of us. Her example and her leadership have been exemplary and a blessing.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 10:34 AM

13. Biles' fatal error was calling her problem "mental" when the Olympics called it "medical."

At the press conference, she said there was a 5 1/2-hour period after the morning workout during which she found herself "shaking" and "could barely nap," which she had "never" felt going into a competition previously (hope she got to eat during that time). Her warmups went "a bit better," but after her vault, she decided "No -- mental is not there."

She also said, "I was trying a two-and-a-half and I ended up doing a one-and-a-half. Just got a little bit lost in the air." Athletes refer to that as "the twisties," a form of vertigo due to your brain and ear canals (which monitor your sense of balance) NOT being accustomed to flipping through the air two and a half times.

That is to say, Biles' "mental" hesitation was due to "physical" symptoms -- a genuine "medical issue." Her timing couldn't have been worse, of course, making it easy for her to be subjected to accusations of being a loser, coward, diva, and disgrace to her race.


Rocknation

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Response to Rocknation (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 02:29 PM

22. This distinction needs to be buried.

Is mental Health not a part of medical care?

We separate biochemical imbalances in the brain as somehow NOT medical, yet biochemical imbalance in the body (i.e., potassium/sodium imbalance) IS medical.


The narcissistic arrogance required to belittle a multiple gold medal winning athlete is staggering, and indicative of patriarchal demand to be entertained and distracted. Her critics are more concerned with themselves and how her choice might diminish their viewing experience. (I'll address the beach volleyball T&A requirements in a different post.)

Mental Health is Medical Health, too. She was not physically able to perform. When her critics are able to pull off double twisting piked somersaults in midair and stick their landings in high pressure competition, then they can still STFU.

Simone Biles had already bested the world and proved to herself she is the G.O.A.T. She owes her critics nothing. Read that again.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 10:42 AM

15. I agree and would add Naomi Osaka to that list as well.

Despite being at the top of her game, she prioritized her mental health over playing and faced a backlash as well. I know she is Japanese, but she has trained most of her life in the United States and we kind of claim her. Much of the backlash was from the same crowd.

Racism and misogyny are a helluva drug.

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Response to PunkinPi (Reply #15)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 11:08 AM

17. I dare say Osaka's mental health issues

are rooted in not being Japanese ENOUGH.


Rocknation

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Response to Rocknation (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 11:26 AM

19. Well, biracial people face "not being enough" from ignorant folks all the time and...

the mental/emotional load is heavy. It's not easy navigating in a world that demands you to be one thing or the other, when you are in fact both.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 10:46 AM

16. That little tory boy Piers only sees a minstrel show

when he sees blacks.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 11:46 AM

20. This is just the opposite side of making this a culture war issue

Biles withdrew from the competition because she was unable to perform. She was not making a political statement. She was not fighting for mental health rights. She failed her vault, realized she didn't have it that day, and withdrew.

Conservatives have been using sports to fight the culture war for generations. Black athletes have been using sports to make political statements for generations. This was only one of those things. It wasn't revolutionary because Biles was making a sport decision for the best outcome of the team.

She is not prioritizing her health and safety. If she were doing so she would have retired after 2016, a champion and a millionaire. Being a world class athlete is bad for your health. This is all post hoc justification for her having a bad night and pulling herself from competition, which was a justifiable action if she felt she couldn't perform considering USA gymnastics has a great team and could still win the gold without her.

The olympics is not "just another day on the job" for Simone Biles, that's you and your spin, promoting the issues and framing you think are important. Did you even watch the event? When I take a day off work, I'm not in tears. Biles was devastated. Pulling herself from the event was indeed a rational decision. I'd characterize it as mature and selfless because it wasn't for her health or safety. It was because on that day, in her judgement, the three other american women had a better chance to win gold without her.

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