Piers Morgan: GMB star forced to justify ‘offensive’ remarks about ‘spitting’ runners

Piers Morgan calls for people to ‘stop running on busy streets’

Piers Morgan, 55, came under fire from runners on Twitter, after his comments on Monday’s Good Morning Britain seemed not to go down too well. The presenter revealed on-air he believes runners should be taking specific steps to help make others feel safer outside, branding them “unbelievably selfish” as they “spit” all over everyone when running down busy streets.

I’ve never understood why runners use high streets other than to show off & annoy everyone

Piers Morgan

Asking them to stop “spitting” and “breathing heavily” on passers by, a user on Twitter hit out at the ITV host, offended by his words.

“Back when we still ran actual races,” they wrote, alongside a photo of them holding a winning medal.

“Now, us runners have to spend our days spitting on people and breathing heavily in large groups. Oh no wait, that’s just what @piersmorgan @GMB says.

“Running alone and local is how we do it during lockdown – SAFELY. #peacocking #flanci.”

Many agreed with the user that Piers’ comments had “angered” them and claimed it was “unfair” for him to put all the blame on runners alone.

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Many agreed with the user that Piers’ comments had “angered” them and claimed it was “unfair” for him to put all the blame on runners alone.

But as usual, Piers was quick to reply to the backlash, snapping: “I’ve no problem with runners (my wife’s an avid one) until they run along high streets with no masks during a pandemic, spewing spittle over the rest of us.

“In fact, I’ve never understood why runners use high streets other than to show off & annoy everyone,” he retorted.

On Monday’s show, he and co-host Susanna Reid were joined by Professor Shafi Ahmed, Dr Asher Salmon from the Israel Health Ministry, and Professor Devi Sridhar to talk about the UK’s latest steps to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“I’d like people to stop running on busy streets and breathing heavily,” Piers shrugged.

Susanna added: “And spitting!” to which her outspoken co-star continued: “All over everyone they run past.

“I just think it’s unbelievably selfish. It’s like, ‘Go and run in a park, they’re all open.’”

Susanna chipped in to note: “Parks are very busy though…”

But Piers carried on: “Just stop running down the high street blustering over people, I just think it’s ridiculous.”

Elsewhere, he also shared his views about Cosmopolitan’s latest cover, which features a plus-sized model wearing exercise gear, alongside the headline “This is health”.

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The issue will feature women of all different shapes and sizes as they try to change the view that health is solely based on weight, but the presenter was far from impressed with the cover insisting it was “irresponsible” to promote obesity in the midst of a global pandemic.

“It’s about saying that imagery is healthy in the middle of a pandemic. You have a 70 percent higher chance of serious illness from the virus when you are overweight,” he began

“I have to say, I agree with that. I think it is irresponsible of Cosmo to be celebrating obesity in the middle of a pandemic when we know obesity can kill you.”

Susanna chimed in, explaining: “The magazine claims wellness does not have to be a one-size-fits-all approach so we’re talking about body positive.”

The pair were joined in the debate by Zumba instructor Samantha Coote who believed all body shapes deserved to be celebrated, describing it as “amazing to see” bigger women on the front cover of magazines.

But Piers strongly disagreed, interjecting: “The point is saying this is healthy when it’s not healthy. I don’t care who you are, male or female, being obese is unhealthy.”

The two went back and forth, with Piers eventually stopping the conversation from going too “personal” and insisted he was concerned about obesity increasing the risk of becoming seriously ill if you contract Covid.

It was a discussion that also divided people on social media, with some believing the magazine cover was body positivity at its finest and others agreeing with Piers’ view.

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

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