I woke up to the news that Naomi Osaka is going to refuse press conferences at the French Open. She cites mental health reasons.
Osaka announced on social media that she won't do the mandatory press conferences during Roland Garros and just pay the fines that are incurred for avoiding them . She writes in her statement:
“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one. We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”
Is Naomi's statement a sign of her lack of form during the clay-court season?
Osaka is not afraid to make a statement, which is what she did during the US Open with her refusal to play her semi-final match as a part of the BLM movement protests. This move seems to be made more due to personal reasons, but I can see how other players want to stand behind it. Anyone who has been to a press conference after a tough loss knows it can be quite draining to answer questions about something that is very painful at the moment.
Still, you might argue that the players are paid well (at least on grand slam level) to play tennis and a press conference is just a part of the life of a professional athlete. The media needs something to write about and getting a personal perspective from the players on a match is useful. I can see how some people find it silly that a huge tennis star like Osaka refuses to do one key part of her job.
It will be interesting to follow how the press, other players and the tour reacts to this statement. Will other players follow? (If they can afford the fines). How will the media react?
Osaka sure knows how to whip up headlines and press reactions, so they might be happy anyway!
If you want to know what racquet Naomi Osaka uses, check out this article and video.
Very weak from Osaka. They are professionals. Lame to even mention mental health in such a scenario. They compete and it is their job. She should be banned from playing in the tournament if she believes she is above everyone else.
Her success clearly messed up with her head. Very disappointing.
Interesting article by a BBC reporter today, recalling where she was at a press conference where they could tell she was upset and they adjusted and tailored their questions very considerately, but she got upset after the first question and walked out.
Shame. I like her.
It’s a tough game, competition is tough and fierce.
I wish her luck, maybe it will help her focus on her game and not social.media and socio-political issues. Maybe she will learn to.slide and recover on clay. Maybe she might try to learn how to volley……time and brain space on her hands.
I can’t see this playing out well.
Can you spell prima donna?
Perhaps a break from Social Media and hiding behind posts claiming change hurts ….might help her more than a break from tennis.
Less activism. Less social media. Less mental over thought.
Ur a tennis player Naomi. U don’t have to change the world!! FFS.
Shame. I liked her