kick (one) when (one) is down

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kick (one) when (one) is down

To criticize, exploit, insult, or otherwise treat badly someone who has already suffered a setback or is in a vulnerable position. Can Jeff's employee review wait until next week? His girlfriend just left him, and I don't want to kick him while he's down. A: "I'm sorry you got fired, but you shouldn't have been so sloppy with your work." B: "Wow, way to kick me when I'm down."
See also: down, kick