Naomi Osaka doubles down on her commitment to wellness!
In an effort to protect her mental health, Osaka announced her withdrawal from this year’s French Open.
Her decision came after a firm warning from the Grand Slam tournaments and following her first-round victory over the weekend. The 23-year-old refused to attend post-match media sessions which led to a $15,000 fine and a threat of more punishments to come.
To avoid taking the attention away from the French Open, Osaka withdrew prior to her second-round match.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
“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,” said Osaka in a 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.”
As a four-time Grand Slam winner, Osaka also revealed that she’s suffered “long bouts of depression” since her first Grand Slam win in 2018, leading to social anxiety when meeting with the press.
Since the announcement, fellow athletes, celebs, and fans have expressed support for Osaka’s decision.
this is really nice to see ❤️ pic.twitter.com/BZT6qBcrOh
— nareh 💫🦋 (@1_Last_Thought) May 31, 2021
Osaka’s sponsor Nike has also issued a statement to show solidarity with the tennis champ.
“Our thoughts are with Naomi,” said the company in a statement. “We support her and recognize her courage in sharing our mental health experience.”
We’re here for Naomi Osaka and her decision to put her mental well-being first!
Original Story :
Naomi Osaka is protecting her peace!
The tennis star will focus on her mental well-being instead of participating in any press conferences for the French Open this year.
In a post on Instagram, Osaka says that the press conferences are like “kicking a person while they’re down.”
“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” wrote Osaka in the post.
She also mentioned viral clips of athletes “breaking down after a loss,” while still doing press.
View this post on Instagram
“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 not just going to subject myself to people that doubt with me,” she continued.
According to the official Grand Slam rulebook, it is mandatory for players to attend post-match media conferences unless they are injured or physically unable to appear. Anyone who does not participate will be subjected to pay a fine of up to $20,000.
Coupled with her statement was a clip from 2015 of running back Marshawn Lynch, who was repeatedly fined for his refusal to talk to the media.
Each question asked in the infamous video was answered by Lynch with, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
Osaka also shared a video of a journalist pushing a 14-year-old Venus Williams until her dad had to intervene.
Venus Williams hopped in the comments to show her support for Osaka’s decision.
“Girl, do you,” wrote the fellow tennis star. “Your life is yours to live!”
Lastly, Osaka added that if she is fined, she would hope that the money goes towards a mental health charity.
“If the organizations think that they can just keep saying, ‘do press or you’re gonna be fine,’ and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of the cooperation,” she continued, “then I just gotta laugh.”
Naomi Osaka continues to show us why she’s THAT GIRL!
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