AceShowbiz - Naomi Osaka will not do any media availability at French Open. Announcing that she will skip a press conference at the upcoming tournament, the four-time Grand Slam champion cited mental health issue as the reason behind it.
The 23-year-old made the announcement via Instagram on Wednesday, May 26. "I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes [sic] 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," she began her lengthy message.
"I've watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well. I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they're down and I don't understand the reasoning behind it," the athlete went on. "Me not doing press is nothing personal to the tournament and a couple journalists have interviewed me since I was young so I have a friendly relationship with most of them."
"However, if the organizations think that they can just keep saying, 'Do press or you're gonna be fined,' and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh," she concluded. "Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity."
Naomi also included videos of fellow women's tennis player Venus Williams and former NFL player Marshawn Lynch when the two were pressed by the media. The post then caught Venus' attention as she replied in the comment section, "Girl, do you. Your life is yours to live!"
Players can be fined up to $20,000 for skipping post-match news conferences organized within 30 minutes, according to the 2021 official Grand Slam rulebook. Since Naomi made an estimated $55.2 million in 2020, the fines may be a relative pittance for her.