Ryan Clark on Jonathan Owens and Simone Biles Credit: The Pivot Podcast

After an unfortunate comment calling himself the “catch” in his relationship with legendary gymnast Simone Biles, NFL safety Jonathan Owens was subject to an internet firestorm over the holiday weekend. But Ryan Clark, who hosts The Pivot podcast where Owens remarked upon his relationship with Biles, came to the couple’s defense and asked viewers to focus on the entirety of Owens’ story rather than the viral clip.

On the podcast, Owens detailed how he matched with Biles on Raya and didn’t realize who she was. Then he explained why he felt she was the one “pulling” him rather than the other way around.

“I always say that the men are the catch,” Owens said. “I was afraid to commit. I was like, ‘It’s my third year, I’m trying to — it’s kind of early.’ But it happens when you least expect it. We hung out and we hit it off instantly.”

Since then, audiences online attacked Owens for his framing and apparent lack of reverence for the four-time Olympic gold medalist. Biles seemed to push back on the chatter with a post on X.

Around the same time, Clark came to Owens’ defense and attempted to add context to the couple’s discussion on The Pivot.

“He talked about the way Simone Biles has changed his life,” Clark explained. “How much she has helped him, how much their love and their journey and their story is all tied together.”

Clark criticized the audience’s willingness to pick apart a marriage based on one online clip. He asked that the audience be more diligent about what the couple actually said while sharing themselves with fans.

“If Jonathan Owens is happy, why do you care about they start or what jokes they make?” Clark asked. “Just because you think he should be worshipping the gymnast Simone Biles, doesn’t mean you can’t respect that he’s in love with the woman Simone Biles.”

Owens and Biles come across as a fairly normal young couple in the honeymoon phase in the episode. They lightheartedly bicker, they joke around, they appear very happy.

Anyone criticizing Owens for what he said is almost asking for him to put Biles on a pedestal, which doesn’t seem very healthy either.

[Pivot Podcast]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.