The Simone Biles news cycle seems to have come to a disappointing end. In the beginning, she entered the Olympics as America’s gymnast champion. Then, out of the blue, she removed herself from the team competition as well as the all-around individual competition.
This sparked controversy over whether she was a hero modeling good mental health or a selfish quitter. For all that, she did eventually compete once more on the balance beam to win bronze — apparently “bouncing back” from her mental anguish a few days earlier.
But now, Biles has gone public with her wholehearted support of abortion. On social media, she proclaimed to the world, “I already know this is going to start the biggest argument & may even lose followers BUT. I’m very much pro-choice.”
Simone Biles on why she’s pro-choice pic.twitter.com/EH4EWBHx8Q
— Lindsay Crouse (@lindsaycrouse) August 10, 2021
While plenty on the pro-abortion left will support Biles, pro-life advocate Lila Rose aptly summed up her logic, tweeting, “Our modern mindset is so broken & cruel: ‘My life can overcome great odds but others’ can’t.’ ‘Born people deserve to live but not little unborn people.’ ‘Foster care and adoption can be broken so let’s support killing off would be adoptees before birth.’”
Our modern mindset is so broken & cruel:
“My life can overcome great odds but others’ can’t.”
“Born people deserve to live but not little unborn people.”
“Foster care and adoption can be broken so let’s support killing off would be adoptees before birth.”
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) August 9, 2021
As Rose pointed out, there isn’t anything new in Biles’s argument. She simply parroted the slogans of pro-abortion activists — “Your body, your choice” — with a series of eye-roll emojis responding to those who “gonna say ‘just put it up for adoption.’” These two points are easily answered by the reality that unborn babies have bodies and are entitled to the choice of life too, and by the long list of parents wanting to adopt a baby.
Ironically, Biles is the biggest refutation to her own argument, which is probably why she felt the need to respond to critics who pointed this out. She was adopted by loving parents and raised in the Catholic Church. Instead of becoming another abortion statistic, she has gone on to become one of the most decorated athletes of all time.
However, as with her decision to quit competing in the middle of the Olympic Games, there doesn’t seem to be a thoughtful, balanced reason for her to come out in favor of abortion. It’s not like anyone asked her opinion on this issue, and after stirring up so much controversy, speaking out now just makes her seem like a troll.
Perhaps, like certain athletes and valedictorians, Biles wants to pivot to activism while she still has a large platform. To be fair, at 24, she is already past her prime as a gymnast. She could go on to coach, be a sports commentator, or run for public office (Texans like their athletes, after all). Or, in today’s cultural climate, she can speak on cultural issues.
Still, why does she or anyone else of her stature feel this need? Biles is rich, famous, and (mostly) adored. She has overcome amazing adversity and continues to inspire millions. Why translate all these amazing accomplishments into insipid activism? Can’t she leave that to unemployed journalists and starving artists?
Maybe she truly believes in promoting a mother’s right to kill her unborn child and feels compelled to speak out of a genuine passion for the issue. Or perhaps she thinks taking this stance will give her life meaning.
Indeed, a certain emptiness seems to lurk in young people like Biles. It’s reflected in both her decision to suddenly give up competing at her peak and her newfound inclination to speak on controversial issues.
Instead of developing as individuals, many young people today develop as members of an oppressed collective. Instead of seeking meaning in the world, they create meaning in their subjective experience of the world. Instead of finding fulfillment in serving others, they declare fulfillment in serving themselves.
Under this paradigm, fame, wealth, and honor are not enough. Even virtue is not enough. Instead, there’s more pressure on celebrities to use their platforms to communicate their opinions than to simply produce more content and serve their fans. Sadly, this creates a society that disparages success and creates more victims.
It’s a pattern that turns successes into suckers. The only way to reverse this trend in the short term is to starve it. The usual outrage does more to validate activism than neutralize it. In the case of Biles and others like her, it’s time to stop taking them seriously or even react. Like the episode of “The Simpsons” in which large corporate mascots take over the town, the way to kill them is to just stop looking.
In the long term, people should support the real successes in society and emulate their virtues while ignoring their politics. Regardless of her lamentable turn to abortion apologetics, Simone Biles is still a paragon of athleticism, grace, and toughness. She still demonstrates what’s possible to those born into challenging circumstances. As with other great figures, her life speaks much more loudly than her words.