Naomi Osaka Speaks Out about Media Boycott Fine
Tennis superstar, Naomi Osaka, is facing stern penalties if she continues to not speak to the media during this year’s French Open.
The 23-year-old Japanese player was fined $15 000 for skipping a post-match press conference at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France, after she scored a victory against 63rd-ranked Romanian, Patricia Maria Tig, on Sunday, 30 May.
In response to the fine, she tweeted on the same day: “Anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable.”
The world number two announced on the eve of the event that she would not talk to any sports publications, stating that news conferences had a negative impact on her mental health. She claimed that they are akin to “kicking people when they’re down.”.
Tournament officials have warned Osaka of future punishments, namely disqualification, stating that “she would be exposing herself to possible further code of conduct infringement consequences” should she continue to ignore the media.
Osaka had made her thoughts known previously when she took to Twitter, writing that she would not do any press interviews during the tournament, feeling that athletes’ mental health isn’t seen as a priority in general.
The last tennis player to be disqualified from a Grand Slam event was in 1990, when John McEnroe intimidated a lineswoman at the Australian Open. He then proceeded to berate tournament supervisor, Ken Farrar, who immediately disqualified the infamous American on the spot.
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