The Presidential Medal of Freedom will once again stand for something real and positive. Denzel Washington and Simone Biles two of our favorite people are set to receive this honor and we couldn’t think of a better choice. If you’re not familiar with it, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is “the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.”
Reading that description should tell you this is in fact a very high honor to receive. And if you were following the past presidency of, he that shall not be named, then you would know he basically made a mockery of it with the people he chose to give it to. This is why finding out that Denzel Washington and Simone Biles will receive it makes us truly happy. The Presidential Medal of Freedom means something; it should only be awarded to those who have truly made a difference in the world.
Washington is not just an Oscar-winning actor, director, and producer with major talent and a multitude of other accolades to his name. He’s also known for being a National spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for over 25 years. Washington is the type of person who doesn’t just walk the walk. He talks the talk as well. He knows the importance of instilling something into those underserved youth of the world.
One of those people that Washington actually helped turned out to be the late Chadwick Boseman. When Boseman was attending Howard University, he and some fellow students were accepted into the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program. Unfortunately, he would not be able to attend because he couldn’t afford the tuition. The amazingly talented actress Phylicia Rashad who was Boseman’s mentor reached out to Denzel who offered to pay his tuition so that he could join the program.
How awesome is that? Just think, had Washington not done something so huge, we may have lost out on the amazing talent that was Chadwick Boseman.
You already know how much we love Simone Biles and not just because she’s an amazing Olympic gymnast. It is important to point out though. Biles is one of the most decorated American gymnasts in history. She’s got a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. Read that again. That woman has accomplished so much and she’s only 25.
As we said, not only is Biles an incredible athlete, but she is also an advocate for the mental health and safety of other athletes, children in the foster care system, and victims of sexual assault. She’s shared stories of her own personal experiences with sexual abuse as well as her struggles with her mental health.
During the Tokyo Olympics when Simone made the choice to step back and prioritize her mental health, we were with her 100%. She did what she had to do for herself and what she felt was right for her teammates. That was a pretty big decision to make, and we have a ton of respect for her. Biles exemplifies what the Presidential Medal of Freedom stands for and we can’t wait to watch her receive it.
In addition to Denzel Washington and Simone Biles, the following have also been chosen to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
- Sister Simone Campbell
- Dr. Julieta Garcia
- Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords
- Fred Gray
- Steve Jobs (posthumous)
- Father Alexander Karloutsos
- Khizr Khan
- Sandra Lindsay
- John McCain (posthumous)
- Diane Nash
- Megan Rapinoe
- Alan Simpson
- Richard Trumka (posthumous)
- Brigadier General Wilma Vaught
- Raul Yzaguirre