Piers Morgan Doubles Down on Naomi Osaka Criticism

Piers Morgan has hit out at tennis star Naomi Osaka after she withdrew from the French Open for mental health reasons.

On Monday, the world number two women's tennis player announced in an Instagram post that she would be "taking some time away from the court" in a bid to deal with depression and anxiety.

The decision came after the tennis champion revealed she would be refusing all media interactions because of the impact speaking to the press has had on her mental health.

Osaka said she felt people had "no regard for athlete's mental health" adding that she has seen that "ring very true" during press conferences. She went on to say the whole situation was "kicking a person while they're down."

On Sunday, Osaka was fined $15,000 for skipping the press conference which followed her win against Patricia Maria Tig.

Following the news that Osaka would be refusing press interactions, Morgan branded her an "arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune appears to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions," in his column for the Daily Mail.

"What's not meaningless is her frankly contemptible attempt to avoid legitimate media scrutiny by weaponizing mental health to justify her boycott," he wrote.

The British broadcaster went on to claim her withdrawal from the tournament was unrelated to her mental health.

"One thing's very clear: this has got nothing to do with mental health," Morgan continued. "What Osaka really means is that she doesn't want to face the media if she hasn't played well, because the beastly journalists might actually dare to criticize her performance, and she's not going to 'subject' herself to 'people that doubt me.'"

The comments earned a wave of criticism online as news of Osaka's decision to step back from the tournament altogether broke.

Journalist Mark Hodge hit out at Morgan's column on Twitter claiming it did not "age well" given that Osaka had now withdrawn for her mental health.

"No, she's withdrawn because of the backlash to her attack on the tennis media for doing their job," former Good Morning Britain presenter Morgan clapped back.

No, she’s withdrawn because of the backlash to her attack on the tennis media for doing their job. https://t.co/bSpRuNo31d

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 31, 2021

He then stated that Osaka had gotten exactly what she wanted, no more criticism from the media.

Morgan proceeded to question how fair it is that her fellow tennis players will have to continue giving media interviews and accepting criticism if she does not.

The controversial tweets were met with an uproar on social media, with some asking how much time the television presenter spends "attacking women of color."

After questioning if high-profile women of color are exempt from criticism, he shared an image of himself posing alongside tennis icon Serena Williams.

"Yes trolls, I have a real problem with female black tennis stars," Morgan captioned the post.

Williams previously threw her support behind Osaka.

Newsweek has contacted representatives of Osaka for comment.

Piers Morgan takes aim at Naomi Osaka
Piers Morgan seen returning to his West London home on March 10, 2021 in London, England. Piers Morgan has taken aim at Naomi Osaka in his latest column. MWE/GC Images