PIERS MORGAN was slammed after questioning Simone Biles' mental health motives amid her Tokyo Olympics withdrawal.
The controversial presenter proved to be unpopular yet again with his comments about the USA gymnast.
Biles pulled out of yesterday's team final and then decided against defending her women's individual all-around gold on Thursday.
The sport’s most dominant star and biggest name then admitted she is struggling to cope with the weight of expectation.
The 24-year-old four-time Olympic champion was praised for her candid admission in which she declared she wanted to 'protect my mental well-being'.
But Morgan offered little sympathy for the GOAT in gymnastics.
He wrote on Twitter: "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.
"Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring and heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous.
"I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that."
He added he would be writing a column on the Biles situation – and warned: "Brace yourself, weak woke Twitter – you’re not going to like it."
One replied: "I just knew you'd attack Simone like this. Have you ever thought that mental health issues has gone on for decades, but because of stigma, taboo, or just scared, it's been kept secret.
"But now we are more open to discussing the subject, more will open up. And that IS inspiring."
Another added: "When someone takes their own life, the amount of times you hear 'if only they’d reached out' but when someone speaks out about their mental health you get tweets like this."
And a third commented: "I’m just going to say what I’m sure everyone else has – you couldn’t handle the cauldron heat of being owned by your weatherman causing you to flounce off.
"God knows how you would cope with pressure Simone Biles is put under."
Despite the uncompassionate Morgan comments, there was widespread support for Biles.
Olympic legend Michael Phelps, who has a record 23 golds, said: "The Olympics is overwhelming. There's a lot of emotions that go into it.
"It broke my heart. But also, if you look at it, mental health over the last 18 months is something that people are talking about.
"We're humans, right? We're human beings. Nobody is perfect so yes, it is okay to not be okay. It's okay to go through ups and downs and emotional roller coasters.
"But I think the biggest thing is we all need to ask for help sometimes too when we go through those times. For me, I can say personally it was something very challenging.
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"It was hard for me to ask for help. I felt like I was carrying, as Simone said, the weight of the world on [my] shoulders. It's a tough situation."
Fellow American athlete at the Tokyo Games Katie Ledecky also threw her weight of support behind 19-time world champion Biles.
Ledecky, who became the greatest female swimmer in Olympic history with 1,500m freestyle gold, said: "The constant attention that Simone gets is hard to handle.
“You can feel like a lot of people are watching you and that every move you make is being watched and judged and all those things.
“As much as we say that we try to ignore it, I think some of that is just trying to keep that positive mindset and move forward.
“I saw the news and I have no idea of her condition or her mental state or anything.
“But I really hope that she continues to do what’s best for her and that the people around her continue to support her. I have no doubt she’s going to be back.”
Golfer-turned-social-media-celebrity Paige Spiranac wrote: "Simone Biles did not quit on her team. She is competing the most difficult skills in the world. It isn’t like a layup or swinging a golf club.
"What she’s doing is extremely dangerous and she did what she needed to do to protect herself. She is the GOAT."
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Alastair Campbell added: "Biles is already the greatest gymnast of all time. Her openness and honesty, and her unwillingness to risk damaging her team because of her mental health, adds another strand to her considerable legacy, that goes beyond sport."
And the Olympics' official Twitter account posted: "We are with you, Simone."
Biles is yet to confirm whether she will compete in next week’s apparatus finals.
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