Piers Morgan has sparked outrage following a recent tweet about Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka.
Osaka, 23, was chosen to light the Olympic Cauldron at this year’s games, stepping forward as the final torchbearer at the opening ceremony.
This marks the first time the four-time tennis grand slam champ has entered into a sporting competition since dropping out of the French Open back in May.
Osaka opted not to participate in Wimbledon or the French Open, having been given a $15,000 fine and threatened with suspension after refusing to appear at a press conference. She explained at the time that she’s often felt ‘people have no regard’ for the mental health of athletes.
Unfortunately, famously opinionated broadcaster Piers was less than supportive as Osaka lit the cauldron, appearing to sneer at her previously cited desire to take a break from the press for the sake of her mental health.
Taking a sarcastic tone, Piers tweeted:
So glad she found the strength.. she must be exhausted after all those magazine covers!
Many people have called Piers out for the tweet, which you could argue belittles the mental health struggles Osaka and so many others have to contend with every single day.
One person tweeted:
Piers the poor woman has mental health issues. If you have a go at her you’re having a go at all people with mental health. Just cos she’s a celebrity sports person doesn’t make her any more less to suffer. Many top celebs suffer. Think about it mate.
Someone who appears on a magazine cover can’t suffer from mental health issues? What an odious comment. Leave the girl alone.
Unfortunately, Piers was unperturbed by some of the negative feedback to his tweet, laying into Osaka once again with a second mocking tweet:
I hope the world’s media will respect Naomi’s desire for privacy and not publish or broadcast these photos.
This isn’t the first time Piers has taken aim at Osaka. Back in May, he wrote a Mail Online column accusing Osaka of trying to ‘avoid legitimate media scrutiny by weaponizing mental health to justify her boycott’.
Many felt this stance to be rather hypocritical, given that just a couple of months before the article was published, he himself stormed off the set of Good Morning Britain after being challenged by a fellow presenter.
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.
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