Following legendary gymnast Simone Biles’ surprising exit from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she’s received an outpouring of love and support. She found one more supporter recently in the form of Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Wednesday.
Rodgers has been at the center of speculation and offseason discontent this summer. He and the Packers have been at odds with each other over how the team is run. After skipping organized team practice activities (OTAs) this summer, last year’s NFL MVP finally made his return to the team this week.
The Super Bowl champion answered questions during his first media availability of training camp yesterday. While speaking to reporters, he empathized with Simone Biles’ situation for choosing to prioritize her mental health over the Olympics. Rodgers shared that he skipped OTAs this offseason for the first time in his career, and it helped his own mental health.
“I think it’s important that we work on our mental state. As you’ve seen with Simone Biles, I think there needs to be more conversation around that. We as athletes are often put on a pedestal that we’re not — that we’re beyond any mental hindrances or clutter. And the only time that mental health often gets talked about is when it’s under the conversation of depression. I didn’t have any depression. But I have a ton of respect for people who speak out in those situations,” Rodgers said, according to a Yahoo Sports article.
“For me, it was just about clearing any of the clutter,” he added. “And that’s what I try to do with this offseason by adjusting some habits and spending time with my loved ones, traveling as safely and as often as I possibly could. And then making sure I was ready to go if I came back.”
Simone Biles Speaks Out After Withdrawing From Gymnastics Finals
Gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the team competition earlier this week before withdrawing from the individual competition as well. Following her exit from the team event, Biles spoke about her decision with Today in an exclusive interview. The famous gymnast revealed that she exited the competition for non-medical-related issues.
“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see,” Biles told Today‘s Hoda Kotb.
At the time, Biles hadn’t announced her withdrawal from the individual competition. The decorated gymnast said she was taking things “day by day,” but eventually removed her name from the event.
After Sunday’s qualifying competition, Simone Biles posted a message for her fans to her Instagram page. She admitted that the spotlight at the Olympics can be difficult to handle at times. When you’re the crowned jewel of Team USA, all eyes are definitely on every move you make.
“It wasn’t an easy day or my best, but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke! BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually they mean the world to me!” she wrote on her post.