Jalen Rose defended Simone Biles on the Breakfast Club on Monday, August 1, and brought up several issues with the sport that might have triggered the young gymnast to sit out three of her four events.
The NBA All-Star was asked by DJ Envy what he thought about people saying that Biles, the most decorated gymnast in the history of the world, “didn’t follow through” as an American athlete at the Olympics. After qualifying for the 2020 Olympics, Biles decided to sit out three events to practice mental wellness.
The child of one of the most legendary ballers in history, Jimmy Walker, and co-host of Jalen & Jacoby has been around professional sporting all of his life and probably understands the psyche of athletes in ways many could never. His comments were firm and centered the conversation on Biles as a human.
He said, “So a lot of those people and about 75 percent of those people think January 6th at the capital was a picnic.”
“A lot of those people, there’s nothing I can say into this mic for 450 years that’s gonna even compute to them that we’re more than athletes,” he continued. “We’re more than jocks, we’re not going to shut up and dribble.”
“For the people who feel like you practiced your entire life and now this is the major moment, this is what I want them to understand. Michael Jordan won three championships and lost his father. And took two years of a mental health break, he was an adult playing in the NBA. The GOAT already,” says Rose.
“She’s 24 years old! It’s way different when you’re a kid, she actually showed maturity to me by saying ‘this isn’t about me, I don’t feel my best. I will take a step back and allow you guys to flourish because this isn’t all about me.’”
Rose started to get real when he dug deeper into her job as an athlete, “This is what I wanted to say about what she does for a living that is different than all of us. She has to be perfect all of the time.”
Gymnastics is considered one of the most dangerous professional sports (contact sports included), the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer says, “Injuries in competition are more common as a result of performing the high-level skills at higher speeds and greater heights without the benefit of crash pads and landing pits utilized in practice.”
“Unfortunately, traumatic knee injuries, including ACL tears, are the most common cause of long term time away from the sport, surgery, and medical disqualification from participation. Injuries as a result of floor routines are the most common mechanism for ACL injury in gymnastics,” they concluded.
Breakfast Club host Charlamagne tha God said, “They also don’t know what she has already pushed through.”
“Larry Naser! She was one of the abuse victims of Larry Naser,” Jalen Rose shouted. “Imagine, that you are going to your place of home, your place of work, your sanctuary as an athlete. That happened to her during that period of time. Most people wouldn’t want to compete ever again.”
“They would feel … and I would feel … neglected by that governing body that allowed me to be abused, and now turns around and asks me to compete for them.”
Simone Biles did compete for that same body, bringing in the Bronze her country. She is now tied with Sharon Miller to be the top Olympic medal-winning American gymnast in history. She has seven: four gold medals, one silver medal, and two bronze medals.
Overall, she has won a total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals as of August 2021.