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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Simone Biles’ response to her husband’s comments was extremely disappointing


Elite gymnast Simone Biles is inarguably one of the greatest and most well-known gymnasts of all time.

It’s impossible to think about gymnastics without her name coming to mind. With 30 medals, Biles is the most decorated gymnast in World Championship history; she holds the record for the most World Championship gold medals with a total of 23. She holds the record for the most World all-around titles in women’s gymnastics, and she has a total of seven Olympic gold medals, tied for the record with Shannon Miller. And, in 2022, Biles was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden.

In short, even if someone has absolutely no ties to the world of gymnastics, it’s harder to not know who Simone Biles is than it is to know her. For this reason, many people were surprised when Biles’ husband, NFL player Jonathan Owens, said in an interview that he had never heard of Biles before they met.

In an interview about their relationship for the podcast The Pivot, Owens said, “I’m like, ‘Lemme see who this is.’ I never really paid attention to gymnastics, so it piqued my curiosity. When she won the Olympics, I was in college, and we didn’t have NBC; we didn’t have Olympics channels, and we were in [training] camp [in] late July, early August.”

While this comment sparked surprise and confusion among fans, many of whom were wondering how he had managed to not hear about Biles for the four years after her 2016 Olympic win, it was a different comment he made during the interview that lit the fuse for the real controversy around their relationship.

While talking about the dynamics of their, Owens said, “I’ve always said that men are the catch.”

Not only did this statement completely diminish every title, medal, and hour of hard work that Biles has dedicated to her career, it was blatantly misogynistic and reinforced a disastrously harmful and bizarrely false stereotype that women have been fighting for decades.

Owens was almost immediately met with criticism and backlash for this comment, and rightfully so. Not only did this statement completely diminish every title, medal, and hour of hard work that Biles has dedicated to her career, it was blatantly misogynistic and reinforced a disastrously-harmful and bizarrely-false stereotype that women have been fighting for decades.

Biles is a world-renowned, multi-time, record-breaking gymnast who has inspired millions of girls across the world. As a black athlete, Biles is paving the way for the future generation of competitive sports in all areas, and she uses her platform to promote discussions about the balance in sports and life, mental health awareness, and injustices in competitive sports.

While none of these things inherently make Biles “better” than her husband, or “more of a catch,” they do mean that Biles is an incredibly talented and influential woman who had been positively influencing the world long before she married or met her husband and deserves to be so much more than just “Jonathan Owens’ wife.” Unfortunately, she does not seem to agree.

In the face of the backlash against Owens’ comment, both members of the couple seemed concerningly unbothered about the whole situation. Neither made another statement until about a week after the release of the podcast and the beginning of the controversy. While never directly addressing his statement, Biles posted a tweet saying, “Are y’all done yet?” She also commented multiple, supportive things on some of his Instagram posts, which cemented the fact that she had no problem with his comments and their effect on the public.

After Biles’ obviously unbothered opinion on the whole event, some fans began saying the whole controversy was irrelevant, and that the public should not have gotten so involved in celebrities’ lives. These people believed that since Biles did not care about her husband’s statement, neither should anyone else.

I would agree with this statement if Owens’ comment only affected him and Biles’ relationship, but the simple fact is that it does not. It’s about so much more than just them; both his comment and Biles’ response will have a monumental impact on the future dynamics between men and women in both life and sports.

As someone who used to be one of the little girls looking up to and idolizing Simone Biles, I was incredibly disappointed by her response to her husband’s comment. Biles is one of the most inspirational women in the world; from her career and talent to her use of her major platform, she has always been someone whom young girls, gymnasts, and athletes worldwide can and do look up to for inspiration in meeting their goals and achieving their dreams. By letting her husband diminish her work and skill, Biles is enforcing the stereotype that men are worth more, both in sports and life.

Biles needs to continue to use her platform to change the competitive sports world for the better; she cannot keep letting down the millions of young girls across the world who are looking up to her for advice and inspiration.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Alt
Evelyn Alt, Copy Editor
Evelyn is a sophomore entering her second year on The Central Trend. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends. Her other interests include playing with her cat, Minerva, and going to Barnes and Noble with her sister, Millie. She is excited for another year writing on The Central Trend staff and looking forward to everything in her future. Favorite color: red Favorite food: anything chocolate Favorite season: Summer Favorite books: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio  

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