Simone Biles isn’t letting naysayers spoil her latest achievement. This week, the 25-year-old Greater Houston resident became the youngest person ever to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The nation’s highest civilian award, the medal is given to individuals who “have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” the White House said.
President Joe Biden bestowed Biles and 16 others with the award during a ceremony at the White House Thursday. The moment was widely celebrated on social media, including by Biles who wrote that she was “honored and thankful” to be recognized by the president and felt “shocked.”
However, not all were happy about those who were chosen for the prestigious honor. Jenna Ellis, a former lawyer for President Trump’s campaign, took to Twitter to criticize Biles and another recipient, soccer star Megan Rapinoe. “Fittingly, Biden awarded his presidential medals to fellow losers, Biles and Rapinoe,” Ellis tweeted. Later, she tweeted: “Biles is a selfish quitter and Rapinoe is a boorish unAmerican bully. They’re losers, not role models. Biden is making a mockery of everything solemn, like the presidential medal of freedom.”
Biles did not hesitate to shut down the criticism. On Friday, the gymnastics star tweeted in response to a fan who pointed out the complaints to her: “Who is Jenna Ellis? Asking for everyone.
Fans of Biles came to her defense Friday, including “On Democracy” podcast host Fred Wellman, who wrote to his more than 260,000 followers: “Simone Biles won 19 World Championship Golds, 4 Olympic Golds and is the most decorated gymnast in US history. Megan Rapinoe won 2 World Cups, an Olympic Gold and was named Best Player in the World in 2019. You lost 63 lawsuits and got farted on by Rudy Giuliani.”
However, Ellis didn’t let things end there, tweeting in response: “Sorry Biles, you can’t date me,” along with a gif of the Pirates of Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow saying “But you have heard of me.” She also went on to criticize Biles’ recent Twitter posts about Roe v. Wade being overturned, writing: “The person who didn’t pay attention in 6th grade civics and selfishly quit Team USA is awarded the presidential medal of freedom. Only in Joe Biden’s America.”