Few may be surprised that Piers Morgan has shared his opinion on Simone Biles pulling out of the women’s gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics, just a day after insisting a bronze medal wasn’t worth celebrating.
The former Good Morning Britain host had been a critic of Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from recent grand slams in order to take care of mental health, with Biles later confirming today she needed to ‘focus on her mental health’.
On Tuesday Biles withdrew from the women’s artistic gymnastics final, just moments after posting the worst vault score of her career. She returned to the arena to support her team-mates, who ended up winning silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), with team Great Britain grabbing bronze.
Biles later added: ‘After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on. I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.
‘We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.
‘I don’t trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.
‘We’re not just athletes. We’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back. I didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt. I feel like a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped.
‘It’s so big, it’s the Olympic Games. At the end of the day we don’t want to be carried out of there on a stretcher.’
However, after seeing Biles, the most successful US gymnast of all time, withdraw, with reserve Jordan Chiles stepping up) Piers chimed in with his two cents.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘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.’
His response divided his followers, with some supporting the journalist’s opinion and others slamming the criticism.
One hit back at the former tabloid editor: ‘No Piers mental health and having a good ‘mentality’ has an absolute correlation to performance in sport or in life for that matter. Educate yourself on the matter.’
Others pointed out his headling-grabbing GMB storm-off over Meghan Markle, with one writing: ‘Your brain can’t handle even the slightest opposition to your viewpoint and you think you can talk about the mental health of elite athletes with the world on their back? It’s their honesty in this matter that makes them stronger role models, not weaker.’
Another summed it up pretty perfectly, as they wrote: ‘Chill on this my guy, we never know what people are going through, mentally.’
It comes after world No. 2 tennis player Osaka faced a backlash for her decision to withdraw from the French Open after struggling with depression.
Piers hit out at her after the news broke, penning a column for MailOnline in which he called Osaka an ‘arrogant spoiled brat’, and labelled her ‘world sport’s most petulant little madam’ in a tweet.Credit: Original article published here.