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Whitlock: Simone Biles and the celebration of quitting are latest signs America has been hacked

Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The pace of change in American culture is too rapid. A contemplative and reflective nation has turned rash and emotional. Feelings drive the mood and attention span of the citizenry. Fear fuels our decision-making.

With irrational children punching in the data and interpreting the printouts, America is being forced to operate at the speed and with the precision of a computer. Silicon Valley social media companies download information into our smartphones, and we instantly spit out conclusions and solutions. It's unsustainable. Societies can't process information at warp speed. Plagued by malware and viruses, we're malfunctioning.

George Floyd is more revered than George Washington. "Three Men and a Baby" is no longer a Hollywood movie featuring Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg. It's the ideal family, according to the BLMLGBTQIA+ Alphabet Mafia. The same group says "gay is the new black." Jesus and Christianity are more polarizing than Allah and Islam.

But nothing has changed more rapidly than our position on quitting. In 48 hours, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles transformed the felonious act of quitting into a deed of breathtaking heroism. On Tuesday, after a poor vault, Biles withdrew from the Olympic team competition, citing mental stress. The next day, she announced she would not compete in the all-around competition.

U.S. Olympic CEO Sarah Hirshland called Biles' act "incredibly selfless." That is not a typo. Hirshland did not call it selfish. She intentionally used the word selfless. USA Gymnastics, in a separate statement, labeled Biles' decision an act of bravery and courage. Athletes, celebrities, and political figures across our country took to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to let Biles know her decision to quit was appropriate. Biles acknowledged over Twitter that she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

There's now nothing more American than quitting. When the going gets tough, the tough claim the mental stress was just too high.

I reject this new standard.

Nothing has haunted my adult life more than my decision to quit the Ball State football team in 1989. I've reflected on the decision for 32 years. The previous season, I started every game on a team that finished 8-3 and flirted with cracking the top 25 after a 6-0 start. I played the entire season with an undiagnosed torn anterior cruciate ligament in my right knee. I hurt it during spring practice, and our team doctor misdiagnosed the injury. The knee bothered me the entire season.

When the 1988 season concluded, I sought an evaluation from the Colts' team doctor, Donald Shelbourne, an orthopedic surgeon who doubled as the team physician for my high school. Dr. Shelbourne diagnosed my ACL tear within five minutes. He told me my knee was "tight" and I could likely get away with playing another season with the tear. I decided not to play my fifth and final season. I quit.

The 1989 Ball State football team won the Mid-American Conference title and played in the California Raisin Bowl in Fresno. My regret isn't missing out on the championship. It was letting my teammates down, particularly two of my college roommates, Frank Barnes and Ralph Wize. We're still friends to this day. I talk and text with them daily. I let my disdain for our head coach and bitterness over feeling misled about my knee cost me my final opportunity to play football.

My headspace wasn't right. I still regret quitting. I regret it even though my final year of college, free from the responsibility of football, allowed me to focus on becoming a legitimate student and journalist. I worked for the school newspaper and began laying the foundation for a career that has served me well for 30 years. Everything worked out for the best.

I still regret quitting. It's un-American. Or at least it had been. The never-quit ethos made this country the envy of the world. European countries don't work as hard as Americans. They allegedly live happier and more fulfilled lives.

The Olympics is a global event put on for the entertainment of globalists, people with no interest in or respect for the uniqueness of America. All the people celebrating Simone Biles want our country to be like France, England, Canada, Italy, and every other place that's good with being an also-ran.

Computers, the internet, and smartphones have made the world a much smaller place. I've long since quit thinking that's a good thing. We're too connected to the rest of the world. The American system has been hacked.
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