Piers Morgan slammed for ridiculing Simone Biles' Olympics withdrawal over mental health

Fans of Olympic gymnastics across the globe were shocked on July 27, when Biles abruptly withdrew from the women's team final after one vault


                            Piers Morgan slammed for ridiculing Simone Biles' Olympics withdrawal over mental health
Simone Biles' withdrawal from the women's gymnastics event drew the ire of some critics, one of them being Piers Morgan (R) (Photo by Lawrence Griffith and Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Piers Morgan was grilled on social media over his controversial comments about Simone Biles' withdrawal from the Olympics for apparently mental health reasons.

Fans of Olympic gymnastics across the globe were shocked on Tuesday, July 27, when Biles abruptly withdrew from the women's team final after one vault. While USA Gymnastics initially stated that Biles had suffered a "medical issue," the star athlete later revealed she was not in the best shape mentally. Team USA went on to win silver, while the gold was clinched by the Russian Olympic Committee, Yahoo Sports reported.

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Biles was widely applauded for having the courage to admit her mental health struggles and drawing attention to an otherwise uncomfortable subject.

Jordan Chiles and Simone Biles of Team United States react during the Women's Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Of course, her withdrawal drew the ire of many critics as well, one of them being British journalist and TV personality Morgan. 

The former Good Morning Britain host tweeted his dissatisfaction with Biles' mental health concerns. "Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke," he wrote. "Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models, not this nonsense."



 

Unsurprisingly, Morgan faced a major backlash for his comments on social media. "I'd put money on it that there's not a single child in the country who would tell you that when they grow up, they want to be like Piers Morgan," actor David Harewood wrote on Twitter.

"Suggestion that Simone Biles has pulled out because of a 'mental issue' which means it's only a matter of time before Piers Morgan says something awful. Don't feed the trolls," news specialist Nic Heaney added.

"Piers Morgan has repeatedly defended Paul Gascoigne during his mental health struggles. But he won't extend the same sympathy to Naomi Osaka, Meghan Markle, or Simone Biles. I wonder why," author David Gardner pointed out.

"You stormed off set when the weatherman made you cry. Simone Biles is infinitely more inspiring and worthy of being a role model than you could ever hope to achieve. Put it this way, I know which one of you will have your achievements talked about in 100 years' time," one Twitter user wrote.

"Seriously any lazy, ridiculous idiots (Piers Morgan) saying Simone Biles is anything other than a bloody hero are just so deluded. Admitting poor mental health isn’t the easy way out, it takes courage. Discrediting years of triumph with petty comments is what’s shameful," a comment read.

"For any young athletes out there, don’t feel ashamed to say that your mental health is or could be the reason why you stop. @piersmorgan
is talking out his a*rse, mental health is nothing to be ashamed of, the only people who should be ashamed are those who mock those who suffer!" another added.



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

Following the pushback, the British journalist retorted saying, "Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit than if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous. I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that."

Biles admitted she was unsure about being able to compete on Thursday, July 29, in the women's all-around event, thereby casting a shadow on her future at the Tokyo Games.

"After the performance, I did I just didn't want to go on," she told the media through tears. "We are going to see about Thursday. I'm just trying to gear up for the next test.

Simone Biles of Team United States supports her teammates by carrying their chalk after pulling out after the vault during the Women's Team Final on day four on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Biles said she hadn't suffered any physical injury, but "just a little injury to my pride." She explained, “It’s just me in my head. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and wellbeing. We have to protect our body and our mind. It’s very unfortunate this has to happen at this stage ... it just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head. Tonight they (her teammates) get a gold medal from me for fighting.”

“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment," Biles added. “Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.”
 

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