Actually, the NFL player can be Simone Biles’ husband and just as much ‘the catch’ 

OPINION: Green Bay defensive back Jonathan Owens recently caught heat for saying he was “the catch” in his marriage to gymnast Simone Biles. But what most critics fail to comprehend is the essence of self-worth vs. the sum of net worth.

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles kisses husband Jonathan Owens #34 of the Green Bay Packers before the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 03, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Did you hear about the Tesla robot that allegedly attacked an engineer, using its sharp metal claws to stab him in the back, leaving a trail of blood? Those cyborgs are gonna be our doom. 

Unless automatons on social media kill us first. 

Not every idiotic and incendiary comment comes from an insidious bot programmed to stir the slow and simple-minded. We know some of the blather comes from flesh-and-blood humans who operate with machine-like precision. They crank out voluminous takes that lack depth, understanding and intelligence, with speed and efficiency that puts engineering to shame.

For instance, consider the feedback to remarks from a relatively anonymous NFL player, better known for his wife. She’s way more rich and famous, but last week he set the Internet ablaze for believing he’s “the catch” in their relationship.

A New York Post headline summarized the indignation that followed: “Simone Biles’ husband, Jonathan Owens, thinks he’s more of a catch than the 4-time Olympic champion.”

Owens, a defensive back for the Green Bay Packers, was blistered by folks who think calling him “Mr. Simone Biles” is an insult. They look at her fame and fortune, her 7.1 million followers on Instagram and 1.6 million on X/Twitter and think it means Biles is better because she brings more to the table. 

I understand why women might feel some kinda way, traditionally seen through their man’s identity rather than their own. I’m certain there are NFL wives who are successful and accomplished, with a record of great impact in various endeavors. But we hardly ever hear about them, just their athletic husbands who work for the country’s most addictive TV product.

The men who mock Owens for his virtual anonymity compared to Biles’ worldwide renown are sad, like guys whose feelings are hurt if their woman earns more. Not sure how many of those Neanderthals are football fans, but the sport reputedly is fertile soil for toxic masculinity. If some of those fans look at Biles as a jackpot and see Owens as spare change, it wouldn’t be surprising.

Personally, I hope my wife Vanessa quadruples my income and then does it twice again. If my wife “blows up” as an incredible visionary in education leadership and becomes a national go-to source for her insight and perspective, I wouldn’t be the least bit threatened. That’d be nowhere close to the daily celebrity that engulfs Biles (and Owens, by extension), but even her level of stardom wouldn’t faze me. 

I’d be standing in line with Owens, backing up his comment on the “Pivot” podcast. “I always say that the men are the catch,” he said.

He said he’s “the catch,” not more of a catch like most critics heard. But those dimwits fail to comprehend the essence of self-worth vs. the sum of net worth. Biles is also absolutely correct to believe she’s the catch — even if she wasn’t the GOAT in gymnastics.

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Owens said he was unaware of Biles before they began talking. That’s hard for some folks to believe, but not me. Either way, he had options as an NFL player. Would you really prefer to date/marry a celebrity?

Or would you prefer to date/marry someone who’s “ordinary”?

It depends. 

Regardless of the differences in lifestyle, either choice can lead to drama and despair. Give me the person who leads to love and happiness. 

Owens and Biles are young and successful Black athletes who jumped the broom after crossing paths. He reached the NFL the hard way, as an undrafted player out of NCAA Division II Missouri Western State in 2018. She’s been a superstar gymnast on the international stage for the past decade. Beneath those labels though, they’re just ordinary people with regular traits, quirks and emotions, informed by their uniquely personal journeys. 

Suggesting one is better than the other is suggesting that white collars are better than blue collars, stars are better than stagehands and graduates are better than dropouts. The bank accounts and zip codes might vary among those groups, but there’s no difference in each member’s intrinsic value.

I thought we were supposed to impart those lessons to our children, teaching that socioeconomic conditions shouldn’t define them or cloud their opinions of others. Unfortunately, individuals on higher perches too often feel superior to folks on lower rungs. But it’s just as bad when the general population gives undue stature to the more upscale.

No matter the other person’s whatever, my daughters were raised to believe they’re the catch. I’d do likewise for my son if I had one. Not to behave in a cocky way, but to believe in their own merit compared to potential partners. 

Everyone else believes Biles is a better catch than Owens based simply on Q Scores. Such small thinking will doom us all.

If the robots don’t do it first.

Deron Snyder, from Brooklyn, is an award-winning columnist who lives near D.C. and pledged Alpha at HU-You Know! He’s reaching high, lying low, moving on, pushing off, keeping up, and throwing down. Got it? Get more at

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