Jason Whitlock: 'Simone Biles and the Celebration of Quitting'

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Maybe it’s because we knew the 2021Tokyo Olympics were going to suck.

While few Olympics “experts” could have predicted the disastrous start for America’s Olympic team, some of us were pretty sure “woke” would weave its way into the games, somehow.


Maybe that’s because of hammer thrower Gwen Berry despicably turning her back during the playing of the national anthem during the medal presentation in the Seattle Olympic trials — in which she came in third.

Or maybe it’s because of the embarrassment of professional sports in America in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, not the least of which was the pathetic prostration of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA commissioner Adam Silver before the Black Lives Matter altar, and their condemnation — multiple times — of pretend “systemic racism.”

Point: I, for one, was not going to be surprised by anything that happened relative to Team USA in Tokyo.

From the men’s basketball team’s embarrassing loss to France and the “woke” women’s soccer team’s startling 3-0 loss to Sweden at the start of the Games, zero was going to surprise me.

Then Simone Biles did what she did. She quit. Over health issues.

Look, to be clear, I’m not in a position to pass judgment on Simone Biles — one way or the other — and/or why she withdrew from the Olympics — nor do I have a desire to do so. I’ll leave that, to quote late-comedian George Carlin, to the “never underestimate stupid people in large groups” crowd on social media.


But someone who is very interested in sharing his views on the Biles story is sports journalist and culture critic Jason Whitlock — my favorite guy at doing what he does. In a Thursday op-ed posted to TheBlaze, my fellow Hoosier brought the hammer down on Biles and “the celebration of quitting.”

As Whitlock sees it, “the pace of change in American culture is too rapid.”

Then a hot take on the Left’s near-deification of George Floyd.

The pace of change in American culture is too rapid. A contemplative and reflective nation has turned rash and emotional. Feelings drive the mood and attention span of the citizenry. Fear fuels our decision-making.


George Floyd is more revered than George Washington. “Three Men and a Baby” is no longer a Hollywood movie featuring Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg.

It’s the ideal family, according to the BLMLGBTQIA+ Alphabet Mafia. The same group says “gay is the new black.” Jesus and Christianity are more polarizing than Allah and Islam.


Heady stuff. And true.

Whitlock then launched into the hot topic — Biles “quitting.”

But nothing has changed more rapidly than our position on quitting. In 48 hours, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles transformed the felonious act of quitting into a deed of breathtaking heroism.

On Tuesday, after a poor vault, Biles withdrew from the Olympic team competition, citing mental stress. The next day, she announced she would not compete in the all-around competition.

“U.S. Olympic CEO Sarah Hirshland called Biles’ act “incredibly selfless,” Whitlock continued. “That is not a typo,” he said.

Hirshland did not call it selfish. She intentionally used the word selfless. USA Gymnastics, in a separate statement, labeled Biles’ decision an act of bravery and courage.

Athletes, celebrities, and political figures across our country took to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to let Biles know her decision to quit was appropriate.

Biles acknowledged over Twitter that she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

And in Whitlock’s mind? “There’s now nothing more American than quitting. When the going gets tough, the tough claim the mental stress was just too high,” adding: “I reject this new standard.”

Whitlock then shared a “haunting” memory from his time as a football player at  Ball State University — my alma mater, as well.


Nothing has haunted my adult life more than my decision to quit the Ball State football team in 1989. I’ve reflected on the decision for 32 years. The previous season, I started every game on a team that finished 8-3 and flirted with cracking the top 25 after a 6-0 start.

I played the entire season with an undiagnosed torn anterior cruciate ligament in my right knee. I hurt it during spring practice, and our team doctor misdiagnosed the injury. The knee bothered me the entire season.

After the season ended, Whitlock sought an evaluation from Indianapolis Colts team doctor, Donald Shelbourne, an orthopedic surgeon who doubled as the team physician at Whitlock’s high school.

“Dr. Shelbourne diagnosed my ACL tear within five minutes,” said Whitlock. “He told me my knee was ‘tight’ and I could likely get away with playing another season with the tear. I decided not to play my fifth and final season. I quit.”

As Whitlock noted, the 1989 Ball State football team won the Mid-American Conference title and played in the California Raisin Bowl in Fresno. “My regret isn’t missing out on the championship,” Whitlock wrote. “It was letting my teammates down, particularly two of my college roommates.”

I still regret quitting. It’s un-American. Or at least it had been. The never-quit ethos made this country the envy of the world. European countries don’t work as hard as Americans. They allegedly live happier and more fulfilled lives.


The Olympics is a “global event put on for the entertainment of globalists,” Whitlock observed, “people with no interest in or respect for the uniqueness of America.

All the people celebrating Simone Biles want our country to be like France, England, Canada, Italy, and every other place that’s good with being an also-ran.

I report, you decide. Is Whitlock right? Or is he insensitive, with no knowledge of the emotional state of Simone Biles that allegedly led to her decision to withdraw? Let us know what you think.

Meanwhile, check out my previous article on the continuing lunacy on Planet Pelosi: Pelosi Being Pelosi: Calls Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a ‘Moron’ for Opposing Her Latest Edict.


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