‘Ridiculous’ Piers Morgan criticises Simone Biles’ ‘Athlete of the Year’ magazine cover

Piers Morgan mocked by CNN host after Simone Biles comments

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On Thursday, Piers Morgan took to his official Twitter page to address the publication’s decision to have Simone grace the cover of their annual sports edition. The former Good Morning Britain star alluded that she’s not deserving of such an honourable title. 

Piers replied to a tweet from @ElizLanders, which read: “@Simone_Biles is @TIME’s Athlete of the Year for sparking a global conversation about mental health.”

Ridiculous. We should celebrate winning in sport – not quitting

Piers Morgan

Piers responded, saying: “Ridiculous. We should celebrate winning in sport – not quitting.”

When Sky News journalist Mark Austin chimed in on the conversation, quizzing the 56-year-old why people couldn’t simply recognise Simone’s contribution to the cause, Piers didn’t hesitate to respond.

“‘Athlete of the Year’ for someone who quit on her team so they lost, then recovered in time to compete in her solo event a few days later? Pur-lease,” he shared. 

During the Tokyo Olympics over the summer, Simone stunned fans when she decided to withdraw from competing in the women’s team final and the individual all-around final after earning the worst vault score of her career. 

She continued to support her American teammates, who went on to win silver in the tournament, with Russia earning gold and Great Britain coming in third place.

Surprisingly, though, 24-year-old made a remarkable comeback the following week when she won a bronze medal in the balance beam final.

Simone had cited struggles with her mental health and being in the right frame of mind for her withdrawal. 

Fans flocked to Piers’ comment section to sound off on their thoughts, with many appearing to have mixed opinions over the TV personality’s tweet. 

@newmanium2000 claimed Simone had done “more for sport than anyone else this year”, while @Justjanny58 asserted that the athlete covering Time magazine was purely out of “ego and money”.

Another Twitter user @randygca wrote: “Do you openly disbelieve Simone regarding her mental health issues as you do Meghan regarding her issues with rascism towards her?”

@YankeeBomber24 continued: “Piers, you’re absolutely right! The Athlete of the Year should go to you for your dashing speed when you ran so fast off the set.

The Ohio native later offered fans an explanation on her abrupt decision to bail on her team at the last minute, stressing that her mental health had reached a low and she simply didn’t “trust myself” enough to take on the additional games.

She explained: “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.”

Simone concluded: “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.”

Even then, Piers deemed the entire situation a “joke,” insinuating that Simone had made a mockery of mental health by dipping in and out of the Olympics games and using the same “excuse” to justify why her performance hadn’t been up to par.

When Simone’s reserve Jordan Chiles stepped in to take her place in the team games, Piers tweeted: “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.”

Piers previously slammed tennis superstar Naomi Osaka in his Mail Online column, where he called the latter an “arrogant spoiled brat” for her decision to back out from the French Open over her battle with severe depression.

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