The backlash Piers Morgan received for commenting on Naomi Osaka’s decision to pull out of the French Open over concerns for her mental health proved to make little to zero difference as the television personality returned to his social media platform once again to air out his thoughts on Simone Biles. On Wednesday, July 28, the Olympic champion announced her decision to withdraw from the individual all-around gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics just two days after she exited from the team finals.
The USA Gymnastics initially reported that Biles had suffered a “medical issue,” but it was later revealed she was stepping away to focus on her mental health. In a post uploaded to his Twitter account on Tuesday, July 27, Morgan wrote, “Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous.” He added, “I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that.”
Elsewhere, Morgan, much like what he did to Meghan Markle following her tell-all with Oprah Winfrey, downplayed the severity of Biles’ psychological issue, writing, “Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke. Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense.”
However, that wasn’t all Morgan had to say on the matter. The following day, the British broadcaster returned with a lengthy and snarky op-ed published with the Daily Mail on Wednesday. Morgan slammed the world champion, who has deemed herself the greatest of all time, for quitting the team finals competition after failing to fully execute the “Amanar” vault during warmups leading up to her exit.
Supporters of the gymnast quickly came to her defense as many slammed Morgan for his comments. “Guy who ran out because the weatherman told him off telling kids need to find stronger role models than a 4 time Olympic champion and 19 time world champion, who survived sexual assault and is not afraid to talk about it,” wrote one person. “Irony is dead. Leave her alone, mate.”
Another person commented, “When someone takes their own life, the amount of times you hear ‘if only they’d reached out’ but when someone speaks out about their mental health you get tweets like this.”
A third person accused him of purposely going after famous women, more specifically Black figures. “Piers piling in on Simone Biles, after previously piling in on Naomi Osaka, Meghan Markle, the Chinese language, Janet Mock, Jameela Jamil. I know there must be a pattern here, but it’s just difficult to see…”
Biles told the press earlier this week that physically she was in good shape, but the same couldn’t be said about her emotional state. “Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time, and we’ll see,” she said in a statement to the media. In addition, she noted that she expected to be having fun at the event, but that didn’t appear to be the case.
The USA Gymnastic said in a statement that the star would be “assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”