TOKYO, Japan — Simone Biles' withdrawal from the women's gymnastics team final on Tuesday morning at the Tokyo Olympics drew opinions, support and scorn from across the world.
Biles' decision centered around her mental health and mindset during competition.
“We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we’re human, too," Biles said via the AP. “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”
One of the people coming to Biles' defense online was St. Louis native and fellow Olympian, basketball star Jayson Tatum.
Tatum quote tweeted a video in which a commentator calls Biles "very selfish, immature and a shame to the country."
"Is it that hard to be supportive and empathetic to what others are going through? This is someone’s daughter and her health your referring to," Tatum said in a quote tweet. "Wonder if he has kids and how he would feel as a parent someone talking about his kids this way. Cause I’d be DAMNED. Simone is a hero!"
The United States women's gymnastics team ended up winning the silver medal in the team competition. The Russian Olympic Committee took home the gold.
Biles had posted on social media Monday that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders after an uncharacteristically sloppy qualifying round.
Biles has since announced she has also withdrawn from the individual all-around competition at the Olympics.