“I have often felt that people have no respect for the mental health of athletes and that rings very true every time I see or attend a press conference,” wrote the 23-year-old. years. “We often sit there and ask questions that have been asked many times before or questions that raise doubt in our minds and I’m not just going to submit to people who doubt me.
She described athletes collapsing to the media after a loss, believing that the practice of forcing athletes to talk about their losses after a match is like “kicking a person while they are down. “. She also said her decision was “nothing personal for the tournament” or for the press, with whom she is generally friendly.
Osaka ended her statement by acknowledging the fine she would have to pay for her actions and hoping the money would go to a mental health charity.
She also included video clips of two athletes speaking to the media as examples. In the first, 14-year-old Venus Williams is pushed by a reporter over her confidence, until her father intervenes.
In the second clip, former Seattle Seahawks player Marshawn Lynch answers any questions he was asked on a Super Bowl Media day in 2015 with “I’m here not to be fined.” “.
Osaka’s announcement received positive support from some reporters, celebrities, brands and Williams herself, who commented on Instagram with “Girl, do you. Your life is yours! However, people have also criticized her for trying to avoid what is considered part of her job, but also for being able to pay the heavy fines imposed on the players. According to sports industry publication Sportico, Osaka earned a total of $ 55.2 million in the past 12 months, the highest earnings for a female athlete in a year.
Osaka is also used to using its platform to speak out on certain issues. At last year’s US Open,bearing the names of seven African Americans who were killed by police, including Breonna Taylor. Her too last August to protest against “the continuation of the genocide of the blacks”.
The Roland-Garros tournament is set to begin on Sunday, May 30 in Paris, where Osaka will try to win his first Roland-Garros title.