Simone Biles husband interview controversy, explained: Why Jonathan Owens’ dating comments sparked backlash

When having a conversation about the greatest Olympian of all time, who comes to mind? Michael Phelps? Katie Ledecky? Simone Biles is probably on that list. And if it’s not, it should be. 

It wasn’t until four years after her first Olympic medal that her now-husband Jonathan Owens even knew her name. The greatest gymnast of all time was just another match when the two connected on a dating app. 

It sparked a little controversy, to say the least, when Owens admitted it in a recent interview. The internet was quick to hop on it with some receipts of his previous Olympic gymnastics comments. 

In case you don’t know what’s taken the internet by storm, The Sporting News has you covered.

MORE: Simone Biles-Jonathan Owens relationship timeline

Simone Biles husband interview

The couple was interviewed about their relationship for the podcast, “The Pivot.” Some of Owens’ comments brought on some criticism, though.

For one, he claimed he didn’t know who Biles was when they met up.

“I’m like, ‘Lemme see who this is.’ I never really paid attention to gymnastics, so it piqued my curiosity,” he said. “When she won the Olympics, I was in college and we didn’t have NBC, we didn’t have Olympics channels, and we were in [training] camp [in] late July, early August.”

Fans found it interesting he hadn’t heard of Biles for four years after her 2016 Olympic run. But there was even more criticism for another one of his comments.

“I always say that the men are the catch,” Owens said.

The couples is unfazed by the controversy the internet has sparked, taking to social media to show their support.

“Unbothered,” Owens captioned his post.

Biles kept her’s a little more casual.

“The Pivot” themselves responded to the backlash, posting more videos of the interview with one captioned, “If you care enough to look at the headlines and comment off that, hopefully you’ll care enough to see the full conversation!!”

When did Simone Biles meet her husband?

Biles met Owens in 2020 on the dating app Raya.

While Owens didn’t know who she was, the two matched anyway and began texting. After a few days, they decided to meet up. Owens was new to Houston, where he later played two seasons with the Texans, while Biles trained at a gym just outside the city.

And the rest is history. They tied the knot on April 22, 2023, at Harris County Courthouse in Houston. They celebrated with a wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico a few weeks later.

Simone Biles 2012 Olympics

Biles did not compete in the 2012 Olympics, but she’s often compared to Gabby Douglas, who won that year’s all-around gold medal. Douglas was the first Black woman to claim the title and helped Team USA to its second team gold, their first since 1996.

Owens certainly kept up with Douglas, for better or worse, during her first of two Olympics. 

How many medals does Simone Biles have?

Biles is the most-decorating gymnast of all time. Between the Olympics and Worlds competitions, she has 37 medals.

She competed in the 2016 and 2021 Olympics, but withdrew partway through the Tokyo competition due to a dangerous mental block known as the “twisties” which causes gymnasts to get lost in the air and risk severe injury.

Still, she has eight Olympic medals, four of them gold.

Year Team All-around Vault Bars Beam Floor
2016 Gold Gold Gold Did not medal Bronze Gold
2021 Silver Withdrew Withdrew Withdrew Bronze Withdrew

MORE: Simone Biles becomes most decorated gymnast ever at World Championships

Simone Biles net worth

Like many professional athletes, most of Biles’ income comes from sponsorships.

In 2021, Forbes estimated she was making $5 million annually off endorsements with brands like Athleta, GK Elite, Kellogg’s, Uber Eats and Visa. The next year, she was named one of the highest-paid female athletes of the year with an estimated $10 million in off-field revenue.

Olympic athletes can make money off their success, though. Here’s how much Biles earned as a bonus for each medal she won at the Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic Games Gold Silver Bronze
2016 $25,000 $15,000 $10,000
2021 $37,500 $22,500 $15,000

Biles’ current net worth is estimated to be around $16 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Jonathan Owens net worth

Owens’ net worth is projected at $5 million.

The safety currently is on a one-year, $1.01 million contract with the Packers, per Sportrac. In 2021, he signed a two-year deal with the Texans worth $1.175 million, which included a signing bonus.


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