Simone Biles’ Husband Says He Didn’t Know Who She Was and Claims He’s “The Catch” In Their Relationship

The Green Bay Packers safety has since said he's "unbothered" by the backlash.

Simone Biles pictured with her husband, NFL player Jonathan Owens.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The man married to Simone Biles—the most decorated gymnast in human history—is making waves for claiming that he's "the catch" in their relationship and admitting that he had no idea who she was prior to dating.

While appearing on the latest episode of The Pivot podcast alongside his wife, Biles, Jonathan Owens—a strong safety for the Green Bay Packers—told hosts Fred Taylor, Ryan Clark, and Channing Crowder Jr. that he "didn't know who she was" when he first connected with Biles in 2020.

"I'm like, 'Lemme see who this is.' I never really paid attention to gymnastics, so it piqued my curiosity," Owens told the trio of former NFL stars at the time. "The first thing that I saw was that she just had a bunch of (Instagram) followers. So in my mind I'm like, 'OK, she's gotta be good.'"

Owens was also asked if he was the "catch" in his marriage to one of the greatest athletes to ever compete, to which he replied: "I always say that the men are the catch."

Sure, Jan.

Owens tried to explain away his ignorance, telling the hosts that he was in college when his now-wife "won the Olympics," and because his family "didn't have NBC, we didn't have Olympics channels, and we were in (training) camp (in) late July, Early August."

"So I'm not paying attention. I never would've had a moment where I would've watched (her compete)," he continued, adding that Biles reached out to him first, which led to the pair "texting back and forth" before they met in-person three days later.

Biles is not only the most decorated gymnast of all time—with seven Olympic medals and 25 World Championship podiums—but she made headlines for bravely testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee after a Justice Department inspector general report detailing the FBI’s mishandling of the case against disgraced USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar was released.

In 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to abusing 10 of the more than 265 women and girls who said they were molested by the physician.

Biles also changed the global conversation regarding athletes and mental health after she withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Owens entered the NFL in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. After signing with the Arizona Cardinals, he tore his ACL in the offseason and was cut from the team in 2019. He was later offered a spot on the Houston Texans practice squad before working his way up to a starting position and later joining the Packers as a free-agent.

Biles and Owens tied the knot on April 22, 2023, at the Harris County Courthouse in Houston, Texas. Weeks later, they celebrated a second wedding celebration in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, as reported by People.

During the same podcast interview, Owens says he realized the undeniable impact his now-wife has when the pair were out on the town, visiting a popular cookie shop.

"It was all these moms and they're there with their kids and we walked past and everybody stopped and just [stared]. Kids were just shaking, like, 'Oh, my God,'" the NFL player recalled.

Since the podcast aired, Owens has received public backlash for his comments. On Thursday, the NFL player posted a wedding photo to Instagram with the caption: "Unbothered. Just know we locked in over here."

"Clearly bothered," one Instagram user commented, "but that is why you are NOT the catch."

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.