Controversial British media personality Piers Morgan has taken yet another jibe at four-time Slam champion Naomi Osaka. The Japanese tennis ace recently made an appearance at the high-profile Met Gala and her outfit caught the attention of Morgan, who labeled it "outrageous".
The Met Gala was also attended by Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, among other tennis stars. Naomi Osaka's outfit drew widespread acclaim from both within and outside the tennis community, as it paid homage to the 23-year-old's Japanese and Haitian heritage.
But while taking swipes at several celebrities who attended the annual fashion event in his latest column for the British tabloid Daily Mail, Piers Morgan reserved his harshest critique for Naomi Osaka. The Brit called Osaka a "fraud" for being a part of the spectacle and disparaged her stance on mental health awareness, before insinuating that she was only trying to gain attention with her outfit.
"And speaking of frauds, tennis star Naomi Osaka has spent most of the year whining, crying, throwing racket-breaking tantrums on court, and blaming the media for her poor form and mental health issues," Morgan wrote. "Yet last night she rocked up, as sulky faced as ever, to parade in front of the world's media in an outrageous Louis Vuitton outfit that screamed 'GIVE ME ATTENTION!"
Naomi Osaka has cited extensive media scrutiny as one of the reasons for her deteriorating mental health, and her struggles on that front have been well-documented throughout the year. Osaka publicly decided to skip her media responsibilities at this year's French Open and even withdrew from Wimbledon the following month.
The Japanese returned at the Tokyo Olympics and played two tournaments after that, but without much success. At the US Open, where she suffered a third-round exit at the hands of eventual finalist Leylah Fernandez, Osaka tearfully announced she was unsure when she would play next.
This is not the first time that Piers Morgan has directed vitriol in the direction of Naomi Osaka. He had earlier called Osaka a "spoiled brat" for refusing to talk to the press, and after her loss at the US Open he doubled down on his stance.
The 23-year-old, on her part, has blocked Morgan on Twitter, so it is unlikely that she'll respond to his latest criticism.
As for Osaka's next plan of action, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding her schedule at the moment given that she said she'd be taking an indefinite break from playing tennis. While the Japanese is still on the entry list for the season's last WTA 1000 event, the BNP Paribas Open, there is no confirmation from her side if she'll be participating.
Piers Morgan compares Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu, says the Brit "embraces rather than attacks the media"
Piers Morgan meanwhile was quite complimentary of US Open champion Emma Raducanu in his column. Raducanu made quite a splash with her debut Met Gala appearance, continuing her rapid ascent to global superstardom, and Morgan showered praise on the teenager's outfit.
"Emma Raducanu – who embraces rather than attacks the media - wore a fun, glamorous black-and-white Chanel ensemble that was entirely appropriate for a girl of 18," Morgan wrote.
Interestingly, however, Morgan has also attacked Raducanu in the past. After the 18-year-old's mid-match retirement from the Wimbledon fourth round earlier this year, Morgan claimed she didn't know how to handle pressure and that she "quit when she was losing badly".
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Morgan has since backtracked on his comments. In the aftermath of Raducanu's US Open win, the 56-year-old congratulated Raducanu and claimed that she had given a "brilliant illustration of mental strength and resilience".