PIERS MORGAN has come in for ridicule on social media after branding tennis star Naomi Osaka a “spoiled brat” just months after storming off the set of Good Morning Britain.
Osaka has been at the centre of a major controversy in the world of sport after refusing to attend press conferences at the French Open and later pulling out of the tournament altogether.
The Grand Slam winner took the unprecedented step to pull out of media duties in order to protect her mental health.
She wrote on Instagram: “I've watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well. I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they're down and I don't understand the reasoning behind it.”
The decision drew criticism from some quarters, including Morgan who used his column for the Mail Online to hit out at Osaka, branding her an “arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune appears to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions”.
Morgan was particularly scathing of the statement she posted on social media.
“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,” he wrote.
While plenty agreed with the Irish-born journalist and television host’s viewpoint, many more were quick to highlight that Morgan was perhaps not best placed to brand anyone an “arrogant spoiled brat” given that he took refused to face criticism.
Back in March, Morgan walked off GMB after coming under scrutiny from co-host Alex Beresford over his remarks concerning Meghan Markle.
The presenter ultimately departed the show over his comments, which poured scorn on claims made by the couple during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.
At the time, Beresford said: “I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle. You’ve made it so clear a number of times on this programme, and I understand that you had a personal relationship with Meghan Markle and she cut you off. Has she said anything about you after she cut you off? She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. And yet you continue to trash her.”
Morgan then proceeded to stand up and walk away, declaring “OK, I’m done with this.”
It was a reaction that drew the ire of many with Morgan accused of being happy to dish out criticism yet unable to take any himself.
Piers Morgan walked off his own show’s set after 90 seconds of gentle critique but can’t understand why Naomi Osaka withdrew from one tennis match after years of media ignited mental health struggles. Smh https://t.co/sfvMYno9Mf
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) June 1, 2021
Piers Morgan walked off his studio because he couldn't even withstand hearing mild criticism from his colleague. The man is the most fragile, brittle spirit. He's a nothing compared to Naomi Osaka.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) May 31, 2021
It was a reaction many on Twitter were quick to remind him of in the context of Osaka.
One wrote: “Piers Morgan walked off his own show’s set after 90 seconds of gentle critique but can’t understand why Naomi Osaka withdrew from one tennis match after years of media ignited mental health struggles.”
“The guy who stormed off set in his own show is demanding someone else talks to the press,” another lamented.
“You can't make this s**t up.”
Piers Morgan couldn't handle being asked a question on his own TV show so I'm not sure he's best placed to comment on Naomi Osaka avoiding press.
— Lee S (@underarm_ace) May 30, 2021
A third added: “Piers Morgan couldn't handle being asked a question on his own TV show so I'm not sure he's best placed to comment on Naomi Osaka avoiding press.”
A fourth wrote: "Man who stormed off his own show for being questioned writes article criticising a woman who was just trying to protect her #mentalhealth"
I was protecting my mental health. https://t.co/8bnWBPbtvD
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 1, 2021
Morgan has since returned to Twitter to defend his actions on GMB claiming "I was protecting my mental health."