First Simone Biles said she was overwhelmed by being the center of attention.  Next she said that she had inexplicably lost the ability to orient her body in space.  Finally she said that she was sad because her aunt died.

I don’t know which one is the truth.  Maybe all of them, maybe none of them.  I can’t imagine why an elite athlete would put in all the time and effort to get there, then pull out of the competition at the last minute.  Before this year I’d never seen it happen even once, but already in 2021 it’s happened three times.

I know this, though:  mental illness is a privileges only the rich are afforded.

Simone Biles didn’t have to give back any of her endorsement money when she refused to perform.  Her net worth is still measured in millions.   But imagine if the chips had fallen differently in her life: imagine that she worked in a grocery or retail store.

What do you think would have happened had she called in and said, “I’m sad and overwhelmed, so I’m not coming in today?”

She certainly wouldn’t be on the cover of People magazine with the words “brave” and “courageous” emblazoned alongside her photo.  It’s more likely she would have been unceremoniously kicked to the curb.

I’m not saying that’s good or right.

I’m saying Wealth Has Its Privileges.

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