Texas deputy attorney general calls Simone Biles ‘selfish, childish national embarrassment’

Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
In tweet, Texas deputy attorney general calls Simone Biles ‘selfish, childish national embarrassment’

TEXAS — Houston-based gymnast Simone Biles has withdrawn from Thursday’s all-around Olympic competition to focus on her mental well-being.

Texas Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz in a tweet called Biles a “selfish, childish national embarrassment”

Reaction to Reitz’s tweet has been largely negative

Biles’ participation in next week’s individual events remains up in the air
USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday that the 24-year-old is opting to not compete. The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.

The announcement generated an outpouring of support for Biles with many pointing out that mental health is ultimately much more important than athletic accomplishment.

Not among those supporters is Texas Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz.

Retweeting a tweet that contrasts Biles with the 1996 Olympic performance of gymnast Kerri Strug, Reitz wrote, “Contrast this with our selfish, childish national embarrassment, Simone Biles.”

Contrast this with our selfish, childish national embarrassment, Simone Biles. https://t.co/IwgoPOXvrG

Reaction to Reitz’s tweet was overwhelmingly negative. One respondent wrote, “You’re kidding me right?? Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to this sport, and especially when it comes to the Olympics. Please stay in your lane.”

On Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office said they are aware of Reitz’s comments and said “This will be handled internally.”

Today I learned about a very inappropriate and insensitive tweet by one of our employees.

This will be handled internally. pic.twitter.com/xln30VxVFl

— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) July 28, 2021
USA Gymnastics said Biles will be evaluated daily before deciding if she will participate in next week’s individual events. Biles qualified for the finals on all four apparatuses, something she didn’t even do during her five-medal haul in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Biles came to Tokyo as possibly the face of the Games following the retirement of swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt. She topped qualifying on Sunday despite piling up mandatory deductions on vault, floor and beam following shaky dismounts.

She posted on social media on Monday that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. The weight became too heavy after vaulting during team finals. She lost herself in mid-air and completed 1 1/2 twists instead of 2 1/2. She consulted with U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin before walking off the field of play.