Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open After Standing By Her Decision To Avoid Press In Order To Protect Her Mental Health
Famous tennis player Naomi Osaka doesn’t seem to be backing down from her no press conference/mental health stance and has decided to withdraw from the French Open. As previously reported, Naomi Osaka, 23, recently announced that in order to protect her mental space she will not be taking part in any news conferences while participating in the French Open tennis tournament. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion wasn’t joking about her decision and was hit with a $15,000 fine after she did not conduct a post-match press conference following her first-round win on May 30. After Naomi Osaka’s absence, a statement was released on behalf of all four Grand Slam tournaments that said,
“the Roland-Garros teams asked her to reconsider her position and tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue and what might be done to address it on site.”
“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences.As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.).”
The French Open also posted a now-deleted tweet on its official feed praising players for attending media conferences. The Tweet featured pictures of players engaging with the media and included the caption:
“They understood the assignment.”
Naomi Osaka took to her own Twitter account and seemingly responded to the backlash and threats she’s recently received. She tweeted,
“anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable.”
The young tennis star then released a more in-depth statement on her current stance via her Twitter account and seemingly announced that she would be withdrawing from the tournament altogether. In her shocking announcement, she shared she ‘never wanted to be a distraction’ and she can accept that her timing wasn’t ideal. She also revealed that she did write a private letter to the tournament officials to apologize and shared that once the tournament is over she would be happy to speak with them on how they can make things better for players moving forward.
See her full statement below:
Do you agree or disagree with Naomi Osaka’s decision? Let us know in the comments.