Piers Morgan has been savaged online over controversial comments about Simone Biles' stunning withdrawal at the Olympics.
Biles shocked the gymnastics world on Tuesday when she abruptly withdrew from the women's team final after one vault.
USA Gymnastics initially stated that Biles had suffered a "medical issue", with the American star later revealing she was battling mental demons.
Team USA went on to win silver, with the Russian Olympic Committee claiming the gold.
Biles has received widespread praise for admitting her mental health issues and shining a light on the uncomfortable subject.
But one person who wasn't impressed was controversial media personality Morgan.
The TV host tweeted his displeasure that Biles had withdrawn for mental health reasons.
"Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke," he tweeted.
"Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense."
Needless to say, the tweet sparked immediate and widespread backlash.
“Stop writing nasty, spiteful stuff just to get attention," one person commented.
Another wrote: “You do realise they are being role models by talking about their mental health. We need and want more people to talk about it.
"We don’t need people like you making snide comments like this and adding to the stigma. You’re part of the problem."
This, and some of these comments agreeing with this is absolutely disgusting. Shame on all of you
— Alison Levine (@BocciaAlison) July 27, 2021
@piersmorgan you are a complete and utter a$$h0le but your Simone Biles comment is rude and disgusting to those who suffer mental health issues and stress! I can't wait for God AND karma to treat you like the scum attention seeking where you are!
— Paris Mellow (@NeoParis) July 27, 2021
Ever noticed that conveniently the ones he consistently goes after the most are always women of colour? The point of his original tweet is horrendus. He will never know what it takes to be an elite athlete and his dismissal of mental health is shameful.
— Tom Bell-Green (@tombellgreen) July 27, 2021
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..
— Jo Hunter (@thesonghunter) July 27, 2021
For any young athletes out there, don’t feel ashamed to say that your mental health is or could the reason why you stop. @piersmorgan is talking out his a*rse, mental health is nothing to be ashamed off, the only people who should be ashamed are those who mock those who suffer! pic.twitter.com/HJQTutLmtT
— Larry Mew🏉 (@mew_larry) July 27, 2021
But Morgan hit back by tweeting: "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.
I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 27, 2021
Smone Biles uncertain to compete in all-around event
Biles' future at the Tokyo Games is now in doubt, admitting she is unsure whether she will compete on Thursday in the women's all-around event.
"After the performance I did I just didn't want to go on," said Biles, fighting back tears as she met with the media.
"We are going to see about Thursday. I'm just trying to gear up for the next test."
When asked if she'd suffered an injury, Biles responded: "Just a little injury to my pride.
“It’s just me in my head. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardise 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.”
Biles added: “Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment.
“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.”
Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:
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