June 20, 2021

Tournament organizers more worried about “Big Media” being butt hurt, than Naomi Osaka’s mental health

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 30, 2021 Picture taken May 30, 2021 Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts during her first round match against Romania's Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Naomi Osaka, the world’s No. 2 ranked women’s singles player, will not play in this year’s French Open.

Osaka announced her withdrawal from the second Grand Slam of the season on Monday.

This comes after her being fined $15,000 for not participating in a mandatory post-match press conference.

Basically, because she didn’t want to have a microphone shoved in her face, by somebody from the “big media”, that would have just asked insulting questions and tried to twist things, they complained to tournament organizers and got Osaka fined.

“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka said in the statement.

“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”

Honestly, it’s sad. Very sad.

This whole chain of events has made being part of the media left me feeling dirty, heartless and like I have no soul. It’s an embarrassment that “big media” is NOT more worried about her health and mental well-being. Instead they are more concerned about getting some interview to benefit their paper, magazine or TV Station.

And knowing that tournament organizers are more worried about “big media’s” feelings, than their own athletes mental and physical health, is just disgraceful. The tournament organizers are worried about the money they get from “big media”, than those that make this tournament happen.

They can twist it to be about some “media obligation” thing, but if that was the case, then she should be able to choose the media, even if it is a smaller outlet. An outlet that won’t twist her words, push their agenda and would be more caring to her mental health. Seeing how it’s only “big media” that gets the interviews or athletes are fined, then it’s not about the actual interview or a quality interview. It means that “media obligations” is them getting paid.

I am no genius, but causing the second best player in the world to pull out of the tournament, because money was more important than her mental health could not have been the smartest move for your tournament or sport.