Piers Morgan responded to criticism of his comments on Simone Biles' withdrawal from Olympic events by calling his 'Good Morning Britain' exit 'gutless and cowardly'
- Piers Morgan wrote an op-ed article that was critical of Simone Biles' exit from two Olympic events.
- Justifying his position, he said his walkout from "Good Morning Britain" in March was "cowardly."
- Morgan has critiqued at least one other high-profile Olympian in recent months.
Piers Morgan is reflecting on his dramatic exit from "Good Morning Britain" after he faced a wave of backlash for criticizing Simone Biles' withdrawal from two Olympic gymnastics events.
On Wednesday, Morgan published an op-ed article for the Daily Mail titled "Sorry Simone Biles, but there's nothing heroic or brave about quitting because you're not having 'fun' - you let down your team-mates, your fans and your country."
Mental-health concerns led Biles to withdraw from the women's team all-around finals on Tuesday after a shaky vault performance, and she later withdrew from the individual all-around finals on Wednesday after a stressful day leading up to the competition. The US went on to win silver in the team finals.
In his piece, Morgan condemned Biles' decision to withdraw from the Olympic events and disregarded her mental-health concerns. "I preferred the old Simone that would do whatever it took to win," he wrote.
Morgan first criticized Biles' withdrawal on Twitter on Tuesday, writing: "Are 'mental health issues' now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke."
-Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 27, 2021
Twitter users called Morgan's comments hypocritical because of his March exit from "Good Morning Britain."
The cohost stormed out of a live taping of the ITV show after one of his colleagues called him out over his criticism of Meghan Markle.
In his piece for the Daily Mail, Morgan said he was wrong to walk out of the show.
"Oddly, they didn't think ME quitting was as brave, heroic and inspiring as Ms Biles quitting!" he wrote, adding: "But here's the thing: they were right, and I was wrong. It WAS gutless and cowardly of me to walk off."
He continued: "If you're going to dish it out, then you've got to take the heat when it flies back at you, which is why I went back and finished the discussion with my co-worker."
Though Morgan did finish the conversation with his colleague, he quit "Good Morning Britain" the day after the incident after ITV received more than 41,000 complaints over his remarks.
Back in June, Morgan said he was surprised people wanted him to apologize for his comments about the duchess.
Morgan shared a photo of himself with Biles on Instagram after his Daily Mail piece was published Wednesday, appearing to reframe his harsh critique of the athlete into words of encouragement.
"You're a great champion @simonebiles (as I had reaffirmed when we met 2yrs ago) and great champions don't quit - they get back on their feet when they get knocked down," he captioned the image. "So, re-engage in these Olympic Games, win Gold, & inspire with the power of resilience not resignation. Go for it."
Biles is not the only Olympic athlete Morgan has criticized in recent months.
He called Naomi Osaka an "arrogant spoiled brat" for refusing to do media interviews in June, and a slew of Olympians called out the former TV host for saying Tuesday that silver and bronze medals weren't worth celebrating.
Representatives for Morgan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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