Piers Morgan has come under fire once again after taking aim at gymnast Simone Biles in a shocking new column, declaring that she has ‘let down your team-mates, your fans and your country’.
Biles, who is widely regarded as the greatest gymnast of her generation, recently made the difficult decision to withdraw from the team final competition, which USA Gymnastics stated was due to a ‘medical issue’.
The announcement came after she made a rare error during her first vault, returning to the arena with her ankle wrapped up, and so it was initially assumed the problem was physical.
However, following this official confirmation, the 24-year-old athlete opened up about why she had made this decision, explaining she needed to prioritise her mental health.
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.
Noting that she ‘didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt’, Biles remarked that she felt as though ‘a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped’.
Various fans and fellow Olympians have since shown support for Biles’ decision, a move which has opened up an important discussion about respecting and prioritising the mental health of professional athletes.
However, it wasn’t long until Piers weighed in with a few opinions of his own, despite to the best of public knowledge, not being privy to Biles’ medical history or mental health issues.
Taking to Twitter, the outspoken broadcaster raged, ‘Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke’, adding, ‘Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense’.
Many people were angered by Piers’ insensitivity and hypocrisy, with many pointing out he had famously stormed off the set of Good Morning Britain after being challenged by weatherman Alex Beresford so could hardly be held up as someone who just gets on with the job at hand.
However, unperturbed by the backlash, Piers doubled down on his original point, tweeting that it was ‘ridiculous’, that ‘athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring [and] heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out’, blaming ‘virtue-signallers’ for fuelling what he regards as a ‘culture of weakness’.
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before Piers announced he had a new column coming out about Biles, cautioning, ‘Brace yourself, weak woke Twitter – you’re not going to like it’.
Now Piers has published his promised Mail Online column, which is filled with yet more criticism of Biles, declaring ‘there’s nothing heroic or brave about quitting because you’re not having ‘fun’
Piers, who interviewed Biles on Good Morning Britain two years ago, wrote:
The world’s greatest ever gymnast, a woman who proudly told me how she fought back after making big mistakes to win Gold, just gave up at the first hurdle of these Olympics.
She left her team to fight on without their leader and supreme motivational champion, and rather than win the Gold medal they were hot favourites to win, they came second to the Russians.
He continued to assert that ‘no sportswriters will dare say any of this because they’re all too terrified of the woke mob coming for them’, claiming, ‘many of them are thinking it because some have messaged me privately to say so’.
Piers then went on to pre-empt that people would call him a hypocrite due to the aforementioned incident on this morning, addressing who he describes as ‘the howling Twitter snowflake virtue-signallers’:
I don’t think it’s remotely courageous, heroic or inspiring to quit.
And yes, I say that as someone who walked off the set of Good Morning Britain earlier this year during an argument with a co-worker about Meghan Markle, the person who more than any other has fuelled this cynical new phenomenon of shutting down legitimate criticism by disingenuously playing the mental health and race cards.
What happened to me exposed the ludicrous hypocrisy at the heart of the social media quitter-lovers.
Piers went on to claim that he had ‘only left for a few minutes’ before returning to his desk, but this didn’t stop Twitter users from branding him as ‘a gutless coward and snivelling weak-minded weasel’.
After he tweeted about Biles, Piers claimed he was ‘promptly bombarded’ by ‘thousands of people’ sending him memes of him walking off set, and that he was ‘savagely mocked for quitting’.
Oddly, they didn’t think ME quitting was as brave, heroic and inspiring as Ms Biles quitting! Nor, of course, did any of them ever give a damn about my mental health as they spewed their vile foul-mouthed abuse.
But here’s the thing: they were right, and I was wrong. It WAS gutless and cowardly of me to walk off.
Piers then went on to assert that, ‘If you’re going to dish it out, then you’ve got to take the heat when it flies back at you’, stating that this was exactly why he went back into the studio to finish up the heated discussion with Beresford.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
Topics: News, Olympics, Piers Morgan, simone biles