In case you haven’t heard this week is the French Open one of the most famous tennis tournaments in the world. However, no one is even talking about what is happening on the court. Instead, all of the focus has gone to Japanese player Naomi Osaka.
She is one of the top women’s players in the world, and coming into the tournament she announced she wouldn’t be doing any media appearances. After her first match, she was true to her word and that got her a 15k fine for not showing up to her mandatory media appearance. She doubled down and announced she was withdrawing from the tournament.
After all of this played out, Piers Morgan took to his regular column in the Daily Mail to weigh in on the incident. Even though he’s not necessarily the sportswriter for the paper, but anyways!
Morgan directly questioned Osaka’s motifs writing “This has got nothing to do with mental health,” He continued his criticism of Osaka saying, “[She is], an arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune appears to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions.” This was not the last bit of criticism that he would throw out though!
It seems that Piers Morgan can’t talk about any subject without eventually circling back to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! In his column, he ultimately compared Osaka’s situation to what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are doing in their personal lives. Saying,
“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,”
Multiple people took to Twitter to defend Osaka and fire back at Piers when the column was published. Most of the criticism towards Piers focused on that fateful day when he literally walked off set on his own show never to return. Former congressional candidate Qasim Rashid tweeted,
“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,”
Piers Morgan, who literally walked off the set in the middle of his own show after getting the mildest possible pushback for his obsessive criticism of a female POC, has some thoughts about how a female POC should honor her professional obligations. pic.twitter.com/UbMP24G4uu
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) May 31, 2021
Stars like Serena Williams and even Osaka’s main sponsor Nike have come out and supported her. With Nike issuing a statement where the brand mentions it’s going to be putting a bigger focus on the athlete’s mental health.
While media-induced mental health issues can be a real problem being able to make good money playing tennis without media backing is an uphill battle. That’s why a lot of athletes have restrained themselves from commenting on the situation. You don’t really want to be on the bad side of your main revenue source. This is going to be a debate that will likely go on for a while!
"I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it's like. Like I said, I've been in those positions.”
Serena Williams on Naomi Osaka withdrawing from the French Open pic.twitter.com/bkDeB0JWtW
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 1, 2021