Man United Star Paul Pogba Praises Simone Biles for ‘Undeniable Strength’

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Simone Biles, a 24-year-old United States Gymnast that many consider to be the greatest of all time at what she does, has been the lead sports story, globally, all week. That’s because Biles, at the very height of her prime, in the middle of the biggest stage in her sport, decided to walk away and focus on her own mental health.

She has received widespread praise and near universal understanding (at least among those that have a clue) for her decision, especially from fellow athletes.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was one of the many athletes, from numerous sports, to publicly support Biles’ extremely difficult decision to drop out of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympiad.

“A moment of undeniable strength from @simone_biles,” Pogba tweeted yesterday.

“We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life!”

After puling out of the competition, Biles stayed in Japan to support her teammates as they go for gold once again. Biles has been open about what led her to withdraw, and along the way she’s made a journey to self-discovery.

Simone Biles has more World medals (25) and more World gold medals (19) than anybody, having surpassed Vitaly Scherbo’s record 23.

She also has more World all-around titles (5) than any other female gymnast. However, she believed that her value as a person was limited only to what she accomplished in her sport. That was up until this week, where she learned just how many people see her as a real human being, not just a jock.

Mental health is an issue that keeps getting more and more attention in the sporting world, and deservedly so.

Paul Pogba is an extremely polarizing player who has been consistently and sharply criticized by fans and pundits alike. His uncertain future with the club is only inspiring more critique right now, from all angles.

He’s also been racially abused online. The same goes for teammate Jesse Lingard, who earlier this year opened up about his major struggles with mental health and inner evaluation of self-worth. Lingard and Simone Biles are two athletes bravely blazing a trail and setting an example for others to follow.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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