Social media users are unloading on British media personality Piers Morgan for calling tennis champion Naomi Osaka a “spoiled brat” in his latest column for the Daily Mail.
In the May 31 article, Morgan criticized Osaka for withdrawing from the French Open after she refused to speak to the media citing mental health concerns.
“Ms Osaka is also an arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune appears to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions,” Morgan wrote at the start of his column. “What’s not meaningless is her frankly contemptible attempt to avoid legitimate media scrutiny by weaponizing mental health to justify her boycott.”
Morgan then compared the 23-year-old Grand Slam winner to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“In other words, she has no problem with the media lauding her undeniable brilliance with a tennis racket, right to the point they say anything negative, however reasonably and fact-based, because then they’re damaging her mental health,” he wrote. “This is straight out of the Meghan and Harry playbook of wanting to have the world’s largest cake and eating it, by exploiting the media for ruthlessly commercial self-promotion but using mental health to silence any media criticism.”
Social media users immediately called Morgan out and blasted him for his own behavior when he stormed off the set of television show Good Morning Britain earlier this year.
British comedian London Hughes tweeted two photos of Morgan with Black athletes, including one with Serena Williams: “Anytime Piers Morgan gets called a racist or anti-Black he’s always quick to post a pic with Black people in his defence….. Later I’m gonna take a selfie with some salad to convince people I’m a vegan.”
Anytime Piers Morgan gets called a racist or anti-black he’s always quick to post a pic with Black people in his defence….. Later I’m gonna take a selfie with some salad to convince people I’m a vegan ?? pic.twitter.com/wYuuqthAXx
— London Hughes (@TheLondonHughes) June 1, 2021
@FarahGhuznavi wrote on Twitter: “If he hates anyone else ‘playing the victim,’ it’s interesting when he’s just a petulant princess – he stormed off his OWN set.”
The West Wing actor Bradley Whitford also slammed Morgan for bailing on GMB when his co-host criticized his attacks on Markle back in March.
“You walked off the set in the middle of a show because someone criticized you. STFU,” Whitford tweeted.
Morgan injected himself into the tennis world after Osaka announced on May 26 that she would not take part in any news conferences at the French Open.
“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” she said in a since-deleted Instagram post, per ESPN. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”
Days later on May 31, the world’s No. 2-ranked women’s tennis player issued another statement on Instagram, saying she was dropping out of the French Open because it was “the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being.”
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” she wrote. “More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.”
Osaka added that she has suffered “long bouts of depression” since the U.S. Open in 2018 and has had “a really hard time coping with that.”
On Sunday, she was fined $15,000 for “choosing not to honor her contractual media obligations.”