Simone Biles is having her moment right now. She’s widely referred to as the greatest gymnast of all time, and now Biles is shining as bright as anyone at the Olympics after leading Team USA to the most dominant Olympic performance in decades. On Thursday she’ll be the favorite for the individual all-around gold medal as well. However, the spotlight also lands on an athlete’s personal life at a time like this.
Simone and her sister were adopted by their grandparents in 2001 after a stint in foster care, but while covering her performance during qualifying, NBC’s Al Trautwig said Biles “was raised by her grandfather and his wife and she calls them mom and dad.”
It’s a phrasing that is demeaning to their relationship, considering that the process of adoption defines the relationship, legally, as parent-child. But more than that, it’s disrespectful to hear Biles define her relationship one way and dismiss that viewpoint to the general public. Biles’ coach responded immediately:
Trautwig wasn’t done, however, after he was confronted about his comments on Twitter:
That’s a horrific thing to double down on, but Biles is feeling herself too much to let one man’s idiocy get to her. Asked about the comments by Us, she said, “I personally don’t have a comment. My parents are my parents and that’s it.”
That’s about how much thought such a wrongheaded statement merits, so we’ll leave her with the final word on it.