“I try not to think about it because I can’t afford to—if I let them rule me, they’re winning,” Simone Biles said in her Glamour cover story ahead of the Olympics 2021. If ever there was a quote to describe one of the most common struggles of Black women, Simone Biles hand delivered it.
The seed that was planted over a month ago has now grown into Biles’ decision to pull out of the gymnastics team final and the individual all-around final at the Olympics 2021. Inspired by fellow super athlete Naomi Osaka who withdrew from the Grand Slam competitions leading up to the Olympics to protect her own mental health, Biles took a stance that shocked many and left others confused.
In a society that values productivity over humanity, and places superhuman expectations on Black women, Simone stepping away didn’t just challenge the status quo, it obliterated it.