Piers Morgan is standing by his criticism of Naomi Osaka despite a fierce backlash after he accused her of playing the victim and adopting a strategy straight from the “Meghan and Harry playbook”.

The British media personality has been a ferocious critic of Meghan and Harry and in a column for the Daily Mail earlier this week, accused Osaka of exploiting the issue of mental health to avoid attending press conferences at the French Open.

Osaka has since pulled out of the Grand Slam completely after only one round due to mental health reasons, saying she has suffered “long bouts of depression” since 2018 and gets “anxiety” when speaking to the world’s media.

While many people were critical of Osaka’s initial claim saying the media has no regard for players’ mental health, the world has largely shown support to the Japanese athlete following her decision to pull out of Roland Garros and take time away from tennis.

However, Morgan isn’t backing down, responding to a host of tweets criticising him — some of which accused the former TV star of having a problem with women of colour.

“What does her skin colour have to do with it? I’d have written the same column if Naomi Osaka was white. For you to now play the race card to attack & silence any perfectly justified criticism of her behaviour is shameful,” Morgan wrote in response to political commentator Ameshia Cross, who alleged he “hates black women”.

In another tweet, Morgan wrote: “Are high-profile women of colour exempt from criticism regardless of their conduct? Sorry, I must have missed that woke memo! The people I’ve criticised most harshly in the past year are Donald Trump & Boris Johnson and last time I checked, they were identifying as white men.”

“What journalist will dare criticise Naomi Osaka ever again? She’s got what she wanted — no more criticism, only praise,” Morgan added on social media. “Meanwhile all her fellow tennis professionals will continue to fulfil their contractual obligations to the media & get criticism when deserved. This seem fair?

“I have a problem with high-profile people who exploit the media for huge financial gain and then attack the same media and use mental health as a weapon to silence criticism.

“My critiques of people have nothing to do with gender or skin colour & everything to do with how annoying they are.”

Morgan also wrote on Twitter that Osaka had “withdrawn because of the backlash to her attack on the tennis media for doing their job”, rather than mental health problems.

This article originally appeared on Over60.