After Naomi Osaka opted out of the French Open Press, the WTA said athletes have a “responsibility” to speak to the media.
After Naomi Osaka, the world’s highest-paid female athlete and the world’s No. 2-ranked tennis player, said she would not participate in press conferences at the French Open, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said Friday that athletes have a “duty” to speak to the media.
On Wednesday, Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion from Japan, wrote on Twitter that “people have no regard” for athletes’ mental health, and that “this rings very true anytime I see or participate in a press conference.” For failing to attend press conferences when requested, players can be fined up to $20,000 by the tournament.
In an email to the Associated Press, a WTA spokeswoman said, “The WTA welcomes a dialogue with Naomi (and all players) to discuss possible approaches that can help support an athlete as they manage any concerns related to mental health, while also allowing us to deliver on our responsibilities to the fans and public.”
The statement continued, “Professional athletes have a responsibility to their sport and their fans to speak to the media surrounding their competition, allowing them to express their view and tell their narrative.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
On a tournament media day that was already difficult by nature because it was held via video conference, Osaka’s announcement that she will not participate in press conferences at the French Open was a logical, if slightly awkward, topic for debate.
“I see why she does what she does. “I respect her opinion,” Daniil Medvedev, the world No. 2 in tennis, said Friday at Roland Garros, echoing a common attitude as a procession of the game’s top players—but not Osaka, of course—spent time fielding questions from reporters in a pre-competition routine two days before the action begins.
Medvedev said, “I have no problems dealing with journalists,” in response to a journalist’s question during one of the afternoon’s navel-gazing moments. “I strive to attend every press conference, whether I’m in a good or terrible mood. And I feel like, even when I’m in a foul mood, talking to you guys makes me feel better.”
Other players, like Rafael Nadal, the 13-time French Open champion, and Ash Barty, the top-ranked woman in the world, as well as the women’s professional tennis tour, have stated that speaking to reporters is a. This is a condensed version of the information.