Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from Thursday’s women’s all-around final, USA Gymnastics has confirmed, prompting some predictable scorn from loudmouthed celebrity Piers Morgan.
The 24-year-old pulled out after one rotation of the women’s team final on Tuesday in Tokyo, citing mental health concerns.
She said: “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.
Weight of the world
“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.”
She added: “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.”
After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many. pic.twitter.com/6ILdtSQF7o— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021
In response, Morgan wrote: “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.”
He then tweeted: “Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit then 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.”
Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 27, 2021
I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that.
Last month, he also slammed tennis star Naomi Osaka after she announced that she would no longer take part in press conferences or interviews.
He wrote: “Narcissistic Naomi’s cynical exploitation of mental health to silence the media is right from the Meghan & Harry playbook of wanting their press cake and eating it.”
*NEW COLUMN*— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 31, 2021
Narcissistic Naomi’s cynical exploitation of mental health to silence the media is right from the Meghan & Harry playbook of wanting their press cake and eating it. https://t.co/UUFZ8iXt7l pic.twitter.com/iAj5ivzOBc
His assessments over the superstar gymnast was met with widespread fury and condemnation on social media.
Here’s what people had to say:
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. pic.twitter.com/m3dWYM5DgP— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) July 27, 2021
She removed herself from a situation she wasn’t comfortable with, just like you did when the weatherman shouted at you babes xx https://t.co/N7AqIMihJp— col ? (@NicoleAndrewsx) July 27, 2021
Piers Morgan having a go at the mental toughness of top athletes again— dave ❄️ ? ? (@davemacladd) July 28, 2021
Also Piers Morgan: pic.twitter.com/2DiIYzo0SB
A poor performance has absolutely nothing to do with ”Mental Health Issues”.— Nadia Nadim (@nadia_nadim) July 27, 2021
People with mental health issues struggle every second of the day, just to Survive. Think about that before you trying to catch points online on behalf of people that may really struggle. https://t.co/1DSc8ALVWw
I’d rather have my daughter and sons learn that even the greatest, on the biggest of stages, have mental health challenges, than have them emulate perfection.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 27, 2021
And I definitely hope they never come to know Piers Morgan or anything he ever was sadly given the platform to say. https://t.co/DLRAhExBmh
Training for months & years keeping focus— Tom Hartley (@thomaswhartley) July 28, 2021
Dealing with the pressure of high performance
Practicing resilience to set backs
Carrying the weight of the badge
Dealing with personal sacrifice & self-doubt
Measures of success are more than a binary Gold or not
Being kind is a start https://t.co/koEgJAF3Va