Simone Biles has called out her Twitter trolls, telling them she hopes they ‘never go through’ the things she has had to.
While Biles’ decision to prioritise her own health and wellbeing by withdrawing from a number of events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last month was widely praised and supported by fans and commentators, a vocal minority on social media attacked the legendary gymnast, accusing her of ‘quitting’ and ‘letting her team down.’
Now, Biles has hit back, writing in a tweet ‘some of the stuff I’ve been through publicly and having such negative responses makes me hope your peers/family don’t see what y’all tweet.’
‘It’s really sad,’ she continued, saying she hoped those behind the hate ‘never go or have gone through some of the same things.’
Biles recently spoke in-depth for the first time about her decision to pull out of competition in an interview with her mother for Athleta, revealing it was the first time she felt people saw her for who she was outside of her gymnastics achievements.
Over the years, because I’ve been so dominant, everybody [supported] the gymnastics and praised me for what I’ve done in the gym and not really outside [of it.]
Once I took a step back, I obviously was expecting to feel a lot of backlash and embarrassment. But it’s the complete opposite. And that’s the first time I felt human. Besides ‘Simone Biles,’ I was Simone and people kind of respected that.
In the interview, Biles went on to reveal that she had received messages of support from several high profile celebrities, including Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber, and that she felt she’d helped move the conversation surrounding athlete mental health forward.
‘Not a lot of people can relate to winning and to being an elite athlete and to doing the things and breaking the barriers that we’re doing. But a lot of people can relate to mental health and normal people stuff,’ she said. ‘I know that I helped a lot of people and athletes speak out about mental health and saying no.’
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]