Doing what culture warriors do — treating one woman’s decision as proof positive that THEY are destroying all that his noble and good about America the Exceptional — the right pounced, dubbing her a “quitter” and a “selfish sociopath” who had “brought shame to the country.”
Never mind that long before the opening ceremonies in Tokyo, Biles had proven herself to be arguably the greatest female gymnast of all time, with a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals to her name. If she had retired long before this week, she would still be considered one of the greatest athletes to ever live — and one who had earned more respect and honor, and brought more glory to her country, than 10,000 editors at The Federalist.
This story, sadly, has become a forum for tribalist rants. I see nothing “heroic” about Simone Biles withdrawing from the Olympic competition. I also see nothing shameful about it. It’s inevitable that her withdrawal would get commentary because she’s click-bait. Because we’re cretins, it’s inevitable that the commentary will be 99% cretinous.