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Do you think professional sports stars should be required to attend news conferences after their game or event?

40 Comments
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40 Comments
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No. I don't like modern sports press conferences. The players have all been media-trained to give safe (i.e. uninteresting) answers. The journalists, desperate for clickbait headlines, then start asking questions about more controversial topics, often unrelated to the sport, in an attempt to trip the athletes up. Very often you end up with interviews that are either boring or unpleasant.

If an athlete enjoys talking to the media or wants to use their platform to say something, then fair enough, but I don't think it should be a requirement.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Yes. Without the massive influx of TV money in Sport then the Athletes wouldn't be getting the prize money / salaries that are now on offer. Not taking anything away from them at all, they should take all the money they can get - but if you want to come to the party you do have to play by the rules. They would after all be the first to complain if the purses for these events suddenly got cut.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Professional sports are business enterprises ... the followers (not me) are interested in the players and what they have to say.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It is a money thing. But it is very rare that a sportsperson says anything interesting or insightful. And some of the hacks can be pretty petty and nasty at times

1 ( +3 / -2 )

With Naomi Osaka, it's a weird one, because most (around 90%) of her income comes from sponsors, not prize money for playing tennis. So she is happy to appear in the media and increase her personal exposure for Nissan, Nissin Cup Noodles, etc. who pay 90% of her income, but not to appear in press conferences for tennis which pays her relatively little. Of course, it is the tennis that enables her to do the promotion work. If she is not going to play tennis or minimize her time spent in front of camera, you have to wonder what she is actually worth to Nissan. To avoid confusion, I have no problem whatsoever with Osaka's advocacy work.

As for interviews in general, you get the occasional gem interviewee, Geraint Thomas yesterday falling off his bike and then getting back on and catching up as if nothing had happened, but most of them are deathly dull. The dedication required these days means most sports stars have dull lives, not champagne ones like George Best or Joe Namath.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If there is a contractual term that requires them to do so, or some pre-requisite to do so, then yes. If not, the. I guess it’s up to them.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes it's not a big deal. If someone is that crushed on questions being asked of them by people who can't even play, then how are they even competitive in their game?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Do I think somebody making millions of dollars a year to play a game should also have to do the little parts of their job that they don't enjoy, like normal people do? Yeah, why not?

Should we really care about this? No.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

it would be like if a master painter was taken aback by finger painters. It doesn't make any sense

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They have to do what they sign up to do. TV money in sports is massive which increases the prize monies and then the sponsors want their products shown in the interviews.

It's all about the money down, from the players......

Many might start out from poor but go on to become wealthy and famous. Not much to complain about really.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No. I did not know that this was a contractual requirement until this case. Now, with every word taken out of context and blasted on social media, I think it is healthier to let the athletes choose silence.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No, we should change all the rules for everything just for Naomi Osaka.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

What a strange question. Of course that’s also voluntarily in a free society. They don’t have to show up and also can even leave the match or facility at any time and do something else what they want to.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If their contracts call for the athletes to attend the press conferences, the athletes should abide by their contracts. That said, there are numerous remedies for breach of contract; if the athlete is okay to provide the remedy for the breach, they can so choose.

Nobody is asking anyone to change everything for Naomi Osaka. In fact, even mentioning her is irrelevant to this poll.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

And should they do commercial for cup noodles ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If pro sports players start treating the media with the contempt they deserve, a couple of things could happen: the media will start behaving like humans instead of hyenas, or (more likely) the media appearances will stop being compulsory.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And should they do commercial for cup noodles ?

Did they undertake contractual obligations to do so?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If you don't want to talk with the people who made you famous enough that they want to talk to you in the first place, then you should stay off social media too.

If you want to play and shut up, then shut up and play.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When and why was this clause introduced anyway? Didn't know prize money related to a poat-match talk with the media. If it is, then what percentage would that be? Let's be transparent about it, eh?

And who decides the "fine"? It was a maximum of 20,00 and she was fined 16,000. Why not half, since it was her first offense? Seems arbitrary and also a form of control over the players.

World Tennis needs to realize there are many types and that players are under a lot more pressure now with their every move watched 24/7.

The post-match media session is outdated. Give them the choice.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Just imagine the scene.... the Wimbledon final, a long-hard fought contest, and at the end the winner trounces off with the trophy, no interview, just their back to the camera as they disappear off for their private celebrations. The journalists covering the event look around for something to do, the other player has also gone, no one wants to talk because it's bad for their "mental health".

End of coverage.

Yawn.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Personally I don't even see the point, I may not be the greatest sports fan but I like so see a good game or match, the interviews on the contrary are the point where I switch to see other things, I simply don't see the value of bad explanations/excuses just because the player is saying them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

At the end of the footie I always wait for the interviews.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tokyo-m, I think the question is not about the short on-court interviews and speeches the athletes give, but about the lengthy, mandatory press conferences afterwards. Which, in my opinion should not be mandatory; if an athlete wants to grant interviews to the press, he/she could arrange that at a convenient time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hey, when I publish I don't have to attend a news conference.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think it's fine, but they ought to be coached in how to perform in such pressers, perhaps to be coached by some veteran US NBA/NFL/MBA stars.

First of all, at sports press conferences, an athlete is to speak of himself in the 3rd person singular:

"You get up in the morning , and you just push. You lift your weights. You eat your Wheeties. And you go out onto the tennis court and you just give it everything you got."

Your face should display apathy for those around you, and you should appear so relaxed that many might assume you had some sort of sexual release between the end of the game and the press conference.

Thank your parents. Thank God. Kiss your fingers, touch your forehead, and point to the sky. Thank sponsors.

Get paid.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's an entertainment business. They are paid millions to play a game they love. I'm not saying that the press conferences are easy, but I think she should try getting a real job with your average boss and crappy colleagues.. maybe that would give her some perspective.

Frankly her comments are an insult to the rest of us who have no choice but to put up and get on with it, in far harder circumstances.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If it is in the contract that they have read, agreed to, and signed, then 100% yes they should have to, or face penalties. If it is not in their contract, they should not have to at all. I respect athletes and celebrities who refrain from talking to the press of their own volition, but not those who take the money from a contract, then renege when the conferences are in the contract, complain about the consequences -- and then complain about the conferences in media interviews they are paid for to boot. That is the definition of pathetic.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tokyo-m

Just imagine the scene.... the Wimbledon final, a long-hard fought contest, and at the end the winner trounces off with the trophy, no interview, just their back to the camera as they disappear off for their private celebrations. The journalists covering the event look around for something to do, the other player has also gone, no one wants to talk because it's bad for their "mental health".

OR... an alternate scene:

Where after he Wimbledon final, a long-hard fought contest, the winner sits down and is asked:

"What's your relationship status?"

"What kind of food do you like?"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

She tries too hard to be honest. You can do that a couple of times, but when the same questions come again and again, even your honest answers start to sound dishonest to your own ears.

Maybe she needs teflon coaching for the interviews, as CaptainDH said above.

A list of escapes or side-steps even. "I prefer not to answer that question." "I dunno. Haven't really thought about that." "Gimme a break, not that old chestnut again!" "Ask me about the tennis." "The Olympics? Hahaha, that one's a landmine/booby trap."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only if they get paid for it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do the hustle, I think this is a good idea. At least in professional tennis, players have to attend the mandatory press conference after the match. If the organizers would split the press conference from the prize money, and make a monetary "press bonus", then the players could choose to attend for the extra cash (and publicity), or skip it for whatever reasons they have. That would solve the present problems

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Interview should be optional. People are not robots!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Who can actually attend a new- conf. after a hard game??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Press conferences are a thing of the past ! We live in much more complex world now and every public statement just simply needs to be properly formulated by professionals.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here is what can happen when sports stars are required to speak to the media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwbXkFp25cI

Marshwn Lynch has his own brand of clothing, his company's profits increased after his 'interviews' as did requests for him to make guest appearances.

Here is another example of a sports personality dealing with the media.

Popovich is very popular except with 45's white nationalists and other right wingers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XEKHH3jIi8

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marshawn Lynch again

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAe-caMBjDg

Richard Sherman with the media

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzPy7D-l73A

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ultimately these sports stars want to be in the spotlight... if they can't take the press/public interest in them then they've chosen the wrong career. Press intrusion is something else, but press conferences after a sporting event should be expected.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Perhaps the interviews should be shorter to reduce the likelihood of them being irritating.

If opting out is allowed, I would imagine most players would because it allows more rest and recovery. In the Tour de France, it is seen as disadvantageous for a favourite to get the yellow jersey early in the race, because they will have to do media work and signings while the other riders go back to their hotels. By unilaterally skipping interviews, Osaka would have gained an advantage over other players, hence the backlash from them, not just people who want to bash her anyway for other reasons.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They get paid for their ability and talent, not their conversational skills. The media can go feed off something else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Journalists submit an intelligent and insightful question each and player chooses 10 they want to answer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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