Piers Morgan divides fans as he brands Simone Biles' Tokyo withdrawal reason 'a joke'

Four-time gold medallist Simone Biles pulled out of the women’s gymnastics team final after scoring 13.766nn, her lowest Olympic score. The 24-year-old later released a statement, telling fans she was prioritising her mental health.

She said: “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.”

Simone, who has earned 30 Olympic and World Championship medals during her career, added:  “I don’t trust myself as much anymore.”

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Piers Morgan divides fans as he brands Simone Biles' Tokyo withdrawal reason 'a joke'

Piers Morgan caused a stir with comments he made about Simone Biles (Image: GETTY)

Piers Morgan divided fans with his tweet

Piers Morgan divided fans with his tweet (Image: TWITTER•PIERSMORGAN)

Simone Biles pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 citing mental health

Simone Biles pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 citing mental health (Image: GETTY)

“There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.

“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.

“It’s so big, it’s the Olympic Games. At the end of the day we don’t want to be carried out of there on a stretcher.”

Piers Morgan has sparked controversy with his tweets about the Tokyo Olympics

Piers Morgan has sparked controversy with his tweets about the Tokyo Olympics (Image: GETTY)

Team GB's Olympic Performance

Team GB’s Olympic Performance (Image: EXPRESS)

Following her departure, Piers Morgan, 56, questioned whether mental health was being used as an excuse.

In view of his 7.9 million followers, he wrote: “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.”

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His comment certainly caused a divide amongst many of his followers, with some agreeing and others slamming his views.

One wrote: “Omg… did you actually just say people are using mental health as an excuse for poor performance? You’re unbelievable.”

A second commented: “Or kids need to see that their role models are human beings too… I see this as no bad thing.”

A third added: “Chill on this my guy, we never know what people are going through, mentally.”

It’s not the first time Piers has caused a stir after commenting on someone’s mental health.

Last month, he sparked backlash after he branded 23-year-old Naomi Osaka “an arrogant spoiled brat” and accused her of exploiting mental health to silence the media.

The tennis star released a statement saying speaking to journalists gave her “huge anxiety”.

She went on to say she had suffered “long bouts of depression” since 2018.

Read More: Hollywood News

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