By MEGAN STONE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) -- Simone Biles says she's more than just a four-time Olympic gold medalist, she is a person who has the right to freely express her own opinions.
The acclaimed gymnast, like many public figures, reacted in horror when rioters overtook the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday.
"Embarrassed but not surprised," Biles denounced as the events unfolded. "Disgusted but not surprised, sad but not surprised, angry but not surprised, speechless but not surprised."
embarrassed but not surprised— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 7, 2021
disgusted but not surprised
sad but not surprised
angry but not surprised
speechless but not surprised
The 23-year-old athlete's commentary, while met with support from fans, drew sharp rebuke from critics who claimed she should focus on her career.
Another professional athlete was met with similar resistance on Twitter, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who, in turn, schooled naysayers about the freedom of speech.
"Stop saying stick to football like that's our only purpose on this earth," the 21-year-old NFL player vented. "We (football players) have every right to speak on whatever we feel no matter the situation."
as well as any other athletes !!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/TCeLZFyiYt— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 7, 2021
Biles retweeted his comments and enthusiastically added in her own two cents by writing, "as well as any other athletes !!!!!!!!!!!"
Four people died during Wednesday's violent protests in Washington, D.C., which drew comparisons from Black Lives Matter supporters who say, had they breached the Capitol, the death count could have been much higher.
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