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TV personality Piers Morgan ― who dismissed Meghan Markle’s claims of palace racism and depression before he parted ways with “Good Morning Britain” ― this time targeted another young and famous Black woman, Simone Biles.
Morgan trashed Biles’ explanation that she dropped out of the team competition at the Olympics (and subsequently the all-around) for mental health reasons, calling it a “joke.”
In a column Wednesday for the Daily Mail, he exhorted Biles to “get back out there Simone, and don’t get sucked into all the weak woke failure-loving Twitter nonsense ― you’re too great a champion to be labelled a quitter.”
Earlier on Twitter, he fumed over her departure. “Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke,” he wrote. “Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense.”
He wasn’t done excoriating the gymnast, who won four gold medals at the Rio Games.
“Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous,” he added. “I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that.”
Michael Phelps, who endured the harsh spotlight at the Olympics several times, supported the gymnast, as did former first lady Michelle Obama, former teammate Aly Raisman and many others. Twitter users blasted the former CNN host, and CNN’s Brianna Keilar called him out among white men who baselessly criticized Biles. They “are witnessing strength, even as they condemn it as weakness.”
Morgan also attacked tennis star Naomi Osaka in May after she refused to speak to the media during the French Open to protect her mental health, calling her a “brat” in a Daily Mail column.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.