Naomi Osaka to ignore journalists at French Open to protect mental health –

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Naomi Osaka to ignore journalists at French Open to protect mental health – fr


Tennis star Naomi Osaka has said she will not be doing any press conferences at the upcoming French Open in order to protect her sanity – even if that means she will have to pay a fine.

Osaka, who is the second-largest player in the world, made the announcement on Wednesday, saying in an Instagram post and on Twitter: “I have often felt that people don’t care about the mental health of athletes and that sounds great. true every time. I see or attend a press conference. “

The four-time Grand Slam winner said that during press conferences athletes “are being asked questions that have been asked of us many times before or questions that make us doubt and I just will not submit to people. who doubt. me. “

“I’ve watched a lot of clips of athletes collapsing after a loss in the press room and I know you do too,” Osaka added. “I believe this whole situation kicks a person when they are shot and I don’t understand the reasoning behind that.

Osaka’s post is accompanied by two video clips: one of Venus Williams interviewed at age 14 and her father intervening when a reporter asks her why she’s convinced she’ll win her next game, and a another from NFL player, Marshawn Lynch, responding to all reporters. question with the same answer: “I am here not to be fined.” “

“Not doing the press is not personal for the tournament and a few journalists have interviewed me since I was young, so I have a friendly relationship with most of them. However, if organizations think they can just keep saying, ‘Put pressure on you or you are going to be fined’, and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes who are the centerpiece of their cooperation, then I must just laugh, ”Osaka mentioned.

ESPN reported that professional tennis players can be fined up to $ 20,000 for skipping a press conference at a major tournament. A representative of the French Tennis Federation, which is hosting the next open, could not be contacted immediately for comment.

“Either way, I hope the hefty amount I’m fined for this goes to a mental health charity,” Osaka said in her statement.

In May 2020, Forbes named Osaka the highest-paid female athlete of all time, reporting that between 2019 and 2020, she set a calendar year record with $ 37.4 million, beating Serena Williams by $ 1.4 million.

Immediately after Osaka’s Instagram post, Venus Williams commented, “Girl, are you doing. Your life is yours! “

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