The world of sport is in a state of shock over Naomi Osaka’s decision not to speak to the media during the French Open – citing bouts of depression and anxiety – and subsequent withdrawal from the tournament.
The tennis ace was fined $15,000 (£10,580) for skipping her media obligations following her first round win, despite the world number two stating in advance that she would not participate in media obligations due to mental health concerns. Appallingly, Osaka was also warned by French Open officials about the consequences of continuing to skip media sessions.
Imagine, a star athlete of Osaka’s stature whose accomplishments at such a young age are laudable, being bullied by tennis officials more worried about contract terms and their profit? They show scant regard for her wellbeing. And what message does this send to regular folk who are also battling depression, perhaps more so in these stressful times?
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