NFL Star Aaron Rodgers Backs Simone Biles for Her Decisions at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/07/2021, 12:39 PM EDT
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 03: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks into a headset for a post game interview after the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears on January 03, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers praised gymnast Simone Biles for putting her mental health first at the Tokyo Olympics. Biles who came into the Games as a highly favored gymnast to win gold in all her gymnastics events withdrew from several events in Tokyo because of her mental health.

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What Aaron Rodgers had to say in the interview

“I give Simone so much credit for her ability to speak the truth, her truth, and to answer tough questions, and to have the courage to say ‘I’m scared’ and ‘I don’t feel like I should be out there’,” Rodgers said.

ASHWAUBENON, WI – JULY 31: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks with NFL Network host James Jones during 2021 Training Camp at Ray Nitschke Field on July 31, 2021 in Ashwaubenon, WI. (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“She’s the greatest gymnast of all time. And mental health [awareness] is an issue that is continuing to break down the stigmas that don’t allow us to talk about it. Or only allow us to talk about it in a super negative, depressive, suicidal way. People of all ages and all professions are dealing with mental issues, especially during COVID. You’ve seen the suicide hotline [calls] going way up. We’ve seen so many different statistics around mental health.”

“It’s something we should be talking about and ways to help people get through it, whether it’s techniques or therapy or just conversations letting people know they’re not alone. And that’s what Simone did. I’m very, very proud of her. I’ve gotten to know her a little bit at times over the years. And I think what she did and then the way she handled herself, cheering for her teammates, was really special to watch in a tough situation for her. And I give her just a tremendous amount of respect.”

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The Impact of her Decision

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States during the Women’s Team Final REUTERS/Mike Blake

Without Biles, Team USA couldn’t defend its Olympic title, but it took silver. Suni Lee won gold in the individual all-around for the fifth time in a row for the Americans. Biles made massive sacrifices in Tokyo to prioritize her mental health, including refusing the chance to become the third woman in Olympic history to win the individual all-around gold medal in consecutive Games. Rodgers applauds the fact that her choices paved the way for more serious conversations about mental health.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

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