Is Naomi Osaka Right To Avoid Media At The 2021 French Open? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The 2021 French Open will be without one of its top players. Well, to be more accurate, the world’s second ranked female player will be there, however, Naomi Osaka will not be taking questions from the media during the two-week tournament that gets underway May 30th.
In a one-on-one sport like tennis, the athletes are the stars much more than in team games, giving them a unique platform to speak out on issues facing their sport and their peers. Naomi Osaka took a stand against this week just four days before the start of the French Open when she posted on Instagram that doing in-tournament interviews can be bad for a player’s mental health. Noting she will pay any fines associated with skipping her media obligations.
Naomi Osaka will not be participating in any news conferences during the French Open, she announced on social media today.
She said her decision was motivated by her mental health. https://t.co/5tFoDIGvyO pic.twitter.com/CZDQ55H1a2
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 26, 2021
The world’s second-ranked female tennis player stood up for those who don’t have the voice she does by posting on Instagram:
“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health … I have watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room … I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they’re down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it … If the organizations think that they can just keep saying, ‘do press or you’re gonna get fined,’ and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh … I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.”
While some athletes don’t believe or want to be called role models, Naomi Osaka is truly a person who should be held in high regard both on and off the tennis court. Her wisdom defies her young age and her caring for others in her sport is something few others have done while still actively competing. Osaka needs to be cheered wildly by fans at every tennis event she plays in because her connection with fans will only grow over her stand for mental health issue.
Will the snobs of the tennis world call her ungrateful for her silence during the French Open? Yes, of course they will, because that’s the easy way to say, “we are paying you to play tennis, now shut up and play,” but as so many athletes have reminded us recently, they are not robots. Don’t forget sports fans, we are the people who often demand the media to shove microphones in the faces of those who just lost; it is, however, those in the media who do their job with too much zeal that causes some to break without any remorse for their feelings or mental health.
While I do hope that every dollar of fine money does some good, I would that the fine money go to having a team of sports psychologists to travel with tennis players on tour, available at a moment’s notice for any player to talk to. Because while these are some of the greatest athletes in the world, the fine line between confidence and doubt is as thin with these people as it is within society in general; and there should be nothing wrong with any of them saying “I need help” anytime they want to help them make it through a tournament or the long season.
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Is Naomi Osaka Right To Avoid Media At The 2021 French Open? | TooAthletic.com
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