Olympics

Jayson Tatum takes to Twitter, showing support for Simone Biles

“Is it that hard to be supportive and empathetic to what others are going through?”

Jayson Tatum, whose tweets are mostly basketball-related, tweeted his support for Simone Biles just before Team USA faced off against Iran. Eric Gay

On Tuesday, when Simone Biles withdrew from the gymnastics team finals citing mental well-being, the world was shocked. But while many showed their support for her decision, others like conservative radio host Charlie Kirk called her a “selfish sociopath” and a “shame to the country.”

The video, which was posted to Twitter, racked up 2.5 million views. For Jayson Tatum, who is also present at the Tokyo Olympics, the video was enough to garner a reaction from him on Twitter. 

“Is it that hard to be supportive and empathetic to what others are going through?” wrote Tatum on Twitter. “This is someone’s daughter and her health [you’re] referring to. Wonder if he has kids and how he would feel as a parent someone talking about his kids this way. Cause I’d be DAMNED. Simone is a hero!” 

Tatum, whose tweets are mostly basketball-related, tweeted his support for Biles just before Team USA basketball faced off against Iran

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“I saw (the reaction) on Twitter, and it made me angry,” Tatum told the Boston Globe after the match against Iran. “And I felt like I wanted to say something.”

Biles will also withdraw from Thursday’s all-around competition, USA Gymnastics announced Wednesday. The decision comes after Biles decided to focus on her mental health. 

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” said USA Gymnastics in a statement

The women’s team consisting of Grace McCallum, Suni Lee and Chiles Jordan continued on with the finals, earning second place following the Russian Olympic Committee in first. 

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Other current and former olympic athletes, including 27-year-old Aly Raisman, Biles’s former Team USA gymnastics teammate, voiced their support for her decision.

“She’s human, and I think sometimes people forget that. And Simone, just like everyone else, is doing the best that she can,” Raisman said on TODAY

Just after the preliminary trials in Tokyo, Biles took to Instagram to express the pressure she was feeling. 

“I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulder at times,” she wrote. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke!”

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