‘The loudest boos always come from the cheap seats’: Simone Biles’ NFL star boyfriend Jonathan Owens takes thinly-veiled swipe at her critics – after saying he was ‘so proud’ of gymnast following shock Olympic finals exit

  • Owens, 26, who plays for the Houston Texans, took to Instagram Stories to share a quote from baseball legend Babe Ruth about dealing with negative criticism 
  • Although he did not tag Biles, the timing of the post suggests he was directing the swipe at those who have criticized her for dropping out of two finals 
  • On Tuesday, the 24-year-old gymnast withdrew from the team final after just one event, and on Wednesday it was revealed she will not compete in the all-around 
  • After pulling out of the team final, Biles cited mental health struggles as the reason for her withdrawal, saying she needed to ‘focus on her wellbeing’ 
  • Today, she hinted that the abuse she suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar had caused the mental health issues 
  • Owens is currently in Houston where he is attending the team’s training camp 
  • Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here

Simone Biles’ NFL star boyfriend Jonathan Owens has made a thinly-veiled jab at those who criticized the gymnast’s decision to pull out of the team and all-around finals at the Tokyo Olympics in order to ‘focus on her mental health’. 

The 26-year-old Houston Texans player appeared to hit out at his girlfriend’s critics on his Instagram Stories, where he posted a quote from baseball legend Babe Ruth, which said, in part: ‘The loudest boos will always come from the cheap seats.’ 

Although Owens, who is currently taking part in his team’s training camp ahead of the start of the NFL season, did not tag his girlfriend, the timing of the post – which came in the wake of Biles’ shock decision to pull out of the team final – made clear its intent. 

Biles sparked furious controversy on Tuesday when she suddenly withdrew from the team final after making a surprise error on her first event, later revealing that she made the decision to pull out of a desire to prioritize her mental health – and out of fear that her performance could prevent her teammates from winning a medal. 

Support: Simone Biles’ boyfriend Jonathan Owens took a thinly-veiled swipe at critics of her decision to withdraw from two Olympic finals 

Message: Owens, 26, posted a quote from baseball legend Babe Ruth about dealing with negativity, noting that ‘the loudest boost always come from the cheap seats’

Owens’ post made clear his thoughts on the subject, with the quote continuing: ‘People who invest the least in you will have the most to say about you.

‘Trust your work and keep your circle tight!’ 

The picture quote was shared just hours after Biles made the sensational decision to pull out of the team final, following a very uncharacteristic on vault, which was the team’s first event in the competition. 

In Biles’ absence, two of her teammates were forced to step in and take her place in the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise events, with Chiles taking on the first two, while Sunisa Lee, 18, filled her spot on the floor.

Following the first event – vault – Team USA was trailing the Russian Olympic Committee by a fairly large margin, which was not helped by Biles’ uncharacteristically low score of 13.766.

They managed to close the gap by putting up impressive performance on both the uneven bars and the balance beam – narrowing Russia’s lead to just a few tenths of a point – but their hopes of overtaking their rivals came crashing down in the final moments of the competition when Chiles suffered a fall on the floor exercise.

The US ended up finishing more than three points behind the Russian gymnasts, who surged to victory with a final score of 169.528 over their rivals’ end result of 166.096.

Despite going into the competition as the favorites to win gold, the team has repeatedly defended both their silver medal finish and Biles’ decision to pull out of the competition, with 18-year-old Sunisa Lee tweeting: ‘Never been prouder to be apart of such an amazing team with an amazing group of girls.

‘We stepped up when we needed to and did this for ourselves. We do not owe anyone a gold medal, we are WINNERS in our hearts.’

Biles also took to Instagram following the end of the team competition to praise the other three gymnasts who ‘stepped up when she couldn’t’, while sharing an image of the squad proudly posing with their silver medals. 

Owens was one of thousands of people to comment on the post, sharing a sweet message of congratulations to his girlfriend and her teammates, writing: ‘I’m so proud of y’all.’ 

Speaking about her sensational exit from competition, which cleared the way for Team USA’s Russian rivals to claim gold in a dramatic upset, Biles said that she made the decision both to prioritize her own ‘wellbeing’ – and out of fear that she would cost her teammates their shot at winning a medal. 

‘To focus on my wellbeing,’ she told reporters of her reasons for pulling out of the competition following a shock flub on the vault, echoing the statement issued by tennis pro Naomi Osaka, 23, when she pulled out of the French Open earlier this year because of her own mental health struggles.

‘It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better but again, we’ll take it one day at a time and we’re going to see how the rest goes.’

She later added: ‘I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to. I don’t know if it’s age, but I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics.

‘I feel like I’m also not having as much fun, and I know that this Olympic Games I wanted to do it for myself, and I was still doing it for other people, so that just hurts my heart badly, that doing what I love has been taken away.

‘Whenever you get in a high stress situation, you kind of freak out. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being. It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.’  

At the time, Biles did not reveal whether or not she would go ahead to compete in the five individual event finals that she qualified for – however she announced early on Wednesday that she would not go on to defend her Olympic title in the all-around competition on Thursday. 

Biles also shared insight into the cause of the mental health issues that prompted her to opt-out of both the team and all-around events, hinting that they are related to the trauma she suffered while being abused by pedophile doctor Larry Nassar. 

The gymnast drew a line between the trauma of Nassar’s abuse and her decision to pull out of both the team and individual all-around medal events for the first time when she retweeted a statement of support from a fellow gymnast – who hit out at critics of the sporting superstar, while reminding the world that Biles was ‘molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood’.  

Biles and Owens have been dating since March last year, having first started speaking online when the gymnast sent her now-boyfriend a message on Instagram 

‘We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood and teenage years,’ the statement, which was written by former gymnast-turned-fitness trainer Andrea Orris, read.

It continued: ‘That girl has endured more trauma by the age of 24 than most people will ever go through in a lifetime.’

Although Biles, who was seen for the first time since the announcement when she stepped out to cheer on Team USA’s male gymnasts in Tokyo, did not issue her own statement about Nassar or her decision to pull out of the all-around, a US official told DailyMail.com that Orris’ message ‘sums up everything Simone is feeling and wants to say’.

The source continued: ‘The fact that Simone has retweeted it, shows that she agrees with every word that’s been said on her behalf.’

Biles, who won four gold medals at the Rio 2016 Games, including the individual all-around title, announced early on Wednesday morning that she has chosen not to defend her title, after consulting with USA Gymnastics officials following her sudden withdrawal from the team competition on Tuesday.

The gymnast, who has been incredibly outspoken in her criticism of USAG’s handling of the Nassar scandal, and her struggle to deal with the resulting trauma of his abuse, did not share her own statement – instead allowing the news to be shared by the organization that she has so frequently blasted for ‘failing’ to protect its gymnasts from the pedophile doctor.

‘After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,’ the statement read.

‘Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.’

Biles is one of more than 150 gymnasts who were abused by Nassar, the former national team doctor, during his 30-year career, and in 2019, she revealed that the trauma of the assaults had left her struggling with suicidal thoughts.

At the time, she admitted that she was ‘sleeping all the time’ because it was ‘the closest thing to death’, while revealing that she was undergoing therapy in order to deal with the abuse.

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