Piers Morgan was the subject of searing criticism over the weekend after calling tennis star Naomi Osaka “an arrogant spoiled brat” in a recent column that compared her to Meghan Markle. On Monday, May 31, the 23-year-old withdrew from the French Open in a statement on Twitter after being hit with a $15,000 fine following her first win, after she refused to partake in a mandatory press conference. The athlete had announced earlier in the week that she would no longer be speaking to the press, citing her mental health.
Meanwhile, Morgan, who infamously walked off set during a live taping of “Good Morning Britain,” after being slammed for comments he made about Markle and her claims about racist treatment and depression, seemingly took an issue with Osaka’s decision to protect her well-being.
The former television personality put pen to pad, explaining his annoyance with Osaka in a column for the “Daily Mail” titled “Narcissistic Naomi’s cynical exploitation of mental health to silence the media is right from the Meghan and Harry playbook of wanting their press cake and eating it.” In the piece, Morgan described the four-time Grand Slam singles champion as “an arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune appears to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions.” He continued, “How else to explain her extraordinary decision to announce she will no longer participate in media press conferences, supposedly to protect her mental health?”
Morgan went on to accuse Osaka of trying to “avoid legitimate media scrutiny by weaponizing mental health to justify her boycott” and called her Instagram statement an “orgy of narcissistic twaddle” that he read “several times with mounting fury.” And similarly to what he said of Markle, Morgan didn’t believe the athlete’s choice to abstain from the press had anything to do with her mental health.
“What Osaka really means is that she doesn’t want to face the media if she hasn’t played well, because the beastly journalists might actually dare to criticize her performance, and she’s not going to ‘subject’ herself to ‘people that doubt me,’ ” he continued. “And the problem with the French Open is that it takes place on clay, her statistically weakest surface, so she probably won’t win it, and when she loses, she’ll be asked why she isn’t as good on clay.” Osaka defeated Patricia Maria Țig in straight sets in the first round of the tournament prior to her exit from the overall game.
Many people online slammed Morgan and accused him of being a hypocrite and unsympathetic, including Georgetown professor Don Moynihan who called out the former television host on Twitter, writing, “Piers Morgan, who literally walked off the set in the middle of his own show after getting the mildest possible pushback for his obsessive criticism of a female POC, has some thoughts about how a female POC should honor her professional obligations.”
DJ Jack Frost also blasted Morgan, stating, “It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Piers Morgan has a problem with black women.” He added, “His relentless criticism of Megan and now Naomi Osaka is quite disturbing especially given the latter has spoken about her fragile mental health.”
Another person called out Morgan’s privilege, saying, “No black man would be allowed a platform to bully white women the way #PiersMorgan is allowed to abuse and harass black women.”
“Piers Morgan walked off his studio because he couldn’t even withstand hearing mild criticism from his colleague. The man is the most fragile, brittle spirit. He’s a nothing compared to Naomi Osaka,” wrote Wajahat Ali.
Morgan has denied being a racist and claimed, “I’d have written the same column if Naomi Osaka was white” and later shared a photo of himself alongside Serena Williams. He showed zero remorse for the harsh remarks made about Osaka and for mentioning Markle yet again.
Osaka has yet to address Morgan’s article publicly.