Japan's Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating Romania's Patricia Maria Tig in their first round match of the French open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on Sunday. Photo: AP/Christophe Ena
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Naomi Osaka pulls out of French Open, citing mental health issues

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By HOWARD FENDRICH

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A New York Times article on the topic notes that Osaka did take a few questions from WOWOW, the Japanese broadcaster with which she is under contract, after her first-round French Open match on Sunday.

So Osaka has apparently determined that her mental health is rather fine when she’s getting paid to answer questions.

This has become quite the chess match, with Osaka increasingly using social media to attempt to control the narrative — claiming in her Instagram posts that she desires to engage the tennis officials, but refusing to do so when those very officials reached out to her the other day.

-3 ( +47 / -50 )

Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry wrote that it was "impressive taking the high road when the powers that be dont protect their own. major respect."

What a meaningless, ridiculous statement. High road? What high road? Major respect for disrespecting the people who made her $40-50 million? Some of these athletes are like the Beverly Hillbillies.

10 ( +50 / -40 )

I love Naomi. She gives everything she has on the court. She has exemplary sportsmanship and she is genuine in her interactions with the press.

I think she would admit that this could have been handled better, but I support her decision. It’s painfully obvious when she does interviews that they are very stressful for her and she struggles to say the right thing the right way.

We’ve seen this before with Zack Grenkie in MLB and Ricky Williams in the NFL.

Imagine having to answer the same inane questions from the same aggressive moronic reporters from the New York Post, The Daily Mail, or its Japanese equivalent every single day. It’s a wonder no one has dropped an F-bomb yet. Maybe they should

The real losers are the tennis fans and the Grand Slam officials with their one size fits all approach. And let’s be clear: it’s the French Open that looks bad here, not Naomi. They issue a wushu-washy statement and then don’t take questions. Where is their 15k fine?

With the retirement is S. Williams on the horizon, women’s tennis needs Naomi Osaka. Not the reverse. The sooner officials realize this, the better off they will be.

Be well, Naomi.

2 ( +42 / -40 )

And let’s be clear: it’s the French Open that looks bad here, not Naomi.

Disagree. She had a contractual obligation that she did not fulfill. She was fined, so she withdrew. Not seeing the French Open having done anything bad.

women’s tennis needs Naomi Osaka.

But the world doesn't need women's tennis (or men's). If it disappeared completely tomorrow, nothing in the world would change.

29 ( +59 / -30 )

Hey, she can't play because she's depressed.

Why all the nasty comments?

-10 ( +39 / -49 )

She doesn’t want to answer questions about the Olympics.

31 ( +44 / -13 )

"depression."

The most commonly used word around here, and i truly understand why!

If you are not strong or don't have a reasonable common sense Japan will put you in a very deep Depression and good luck getting out of it. And if you go to see a psychologist he or she will even DROP you deeper in the HOLE. I see it everyday.

34 ( +40 / -6 )

As I posted last week about her zeal for BLM as opposed to her silence on JLM - I agree with Zoroto and many others that it's all about the coin for her. Sadly as up until recently I was an avid supporter of her. Her sister yesterday had mentioned that the press were getting on her for being soft on clay but that's not on reason to pull out. If she wants the fame and fortune that comes with - she's got to fulfill the rest of the deal, which she seems not up to the task.

14 ( +39 / -25 )

Good on her! She is free to do as she wishes. If she needs a break, no problem.

11 ( +35 / -24 )

@zoroto

Might be a first, but i totally agree with you, 100%

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

She retires and talks openly about depression. Still gets only hate. The day she will jump from a building she will still get hate. Even more hate if she keeps the shoes on - people will say it’s a sponsored suicide and a clear insult to Japanese culture. Congratulations.

-18 ( +19 / -37 )

Nice. She give them the finger after they threaten to disqualify her. If they think they can preasure her to appear on their press conferences then clearly they don't know her. Might as well just take this time to relax at home.

4 ( +26 / -22 )

Good to know one person in Japan has a spine and stands for her principles.

-2 ( +30 / -32 )

Tragically, it was ‘a narcissistic, toxic female celebrity’ that created Naomi’s future anxiety & depression.

“Osaka spoke about dealing with depression since the 2018 U.S. Open, which she won by beating Serena Williams in a final filled with [William’s] controversy.” -

In a moment when a young person fulfills their dream, to meet their ‘idol’ and have that same ‘monster’s’ unforgivable behavior eclipse their spotlight.

“At the pinnacle of a lifetime of training, Naomi was in tears as Williams ranted against the judge.” -

14 ( +23 / -9 )

I like how people here think they know what is best for her. Not one of you here understand the pressures of being famous at a young age. It is not easy. Leave the woman alone and stop trying to demonize her for wanting to take a break!

7 ( +31 / -24 )

Mental and emotional depressions need empathy, not ridicule.

26 ( +48 / -22 )

I hope she gets back on her feet again soon, Good Luck Naomi.

25 ( +34 / -9 )

My wife said at the end of the Australian Open when Naomi was speaking on the court that she might one day be overwhelmed.The expectations,pressures good and bad,might be too much.And that is how it is now.Some people say but for the money she gets...blah,blah,blah. And picture her representing Japan at the Olympics with the incessant media attention,home country expectations and just scrutiny like no other.If you don't like her,you don't care anyway apart from pouring on her.But unless you're in her situation,it's easy to pop off and spread your oftentimes bitter negativity.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

Naomi-chan

must you insist on that insufferable “Chan” at the end? Cringe

16 ( +28 / -12 )

Knowing someone very close to me with a significant anxiety disorder I can empathize with Ms. Osaka's statement about her condition.

On the other hand she is being paid more in a year more than most will make in a lifetime and contractually I believe she is obligated to give these interviews.

Looking at this from both sides perhaps the bigger point is our societal values (especially in the U.S., however similar all over the world). She is making more money than doctors and nurses fighting Covid, firefighters saving lives, teachers educating kids, etc. all for hitting a tennis ball. Yes she is among the world's best at what she does and it takes alot of hard work but the compensation and fame are not proportionate to her contribution to society.

Putting athletes on some type of pedastal about the rest of us is bad for society as a whole and it appears to be bad for the athlete. Putting athletes on this pedastal also leads to foolish decisions such as inviting people from all over the world to Japan during a Pandemic for the Olympics.

My mother in law, who is not old and white, would say what some of the above posters said: she has a responsibility as she agreed to do this, especially considering what she is getting in return.

While empathizing with Osaka I agree with my mother in law with the following caveat:

I wonder if Ms. Osaka will be in Japan later this summer or perhaps she is feeling a great deal of anxiety about this issue, coming to Japan, and also being in a position as a Japanese athlete coming to her "home" country from abroad to participate in a fools errand (the Covid Olympics). If she is predispositioned towards anxiety I am sure she is feeling a great deal of anxiety now which may explain her actions.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

Do not get the concentrated hate some athletes get when they express themselves, in this case Naomi Osaka. Seems to be a combination of racism for her support for BLM and her un-Japanese willfulness as a young lady with a mind of her own.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

The winner of this tournament will face a question-mark on the tournament for the rest of their lives. Did they win because they were the best, or did they win because the best exited early.

Yes, all you people who whined about her not joining the press conference, well this is what you get. This is why you can't have nice things.

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

This badly run so-called "major" has been stripped of its superstar. 

it’s badly run because ….!?

they didn’t bow down to her pressure !?

all four majors were united in their stance for doing post match interviews.

BTW, she was never the superstar here - Nadal & Federer are the true superstars (& let’s not forget the woman’s world number one, Barty)

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

must you insist on that insufferable “Chan” at the end? Cringe

Don't be a hater.

Hopefully this episode is a wake up call to the press, especially the notorious Japanese press, who constantly demand Naomi-chan to answer in Japanese, ask about her private life, nationality, ability to use chopsticks, food preferences, anime etc.

Going forward, and through the olympics, they should only ask technical questions about her game - NO private questions. Sick of these vultures always attacking her.

3 ( +19 / -16 )

yeah, I feel like @Mark. Somehow this issue, which is as far from most of our lives as you can get, is bringing out an ugly side of many readers.

Why get so upset about Naomi Osaka's life??

15 ( +23 / -8 )

I wish Naomi well. Japan also has to take some blame for her current mental state. It can't have been easy being bullied by her fellow countrymen living in Japan as a child.

In addition Naomi has faced further prejudice in Japan. She was declared to be “too sunburned” by two Japanese comedians who said she “needed some bleach.”

The Japanese noodle company Nissin acknowledged “whitewashing” Osaka in an ad that was taken down after a public outcry.

Even today most Japanese do not accept her as a "full blood" and even her successes get very little coverage alongside Japanese table tennis players and ice skaters.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Hopefully this episode is a wake up call to the press, especially the notorious Japanese press, who constantly demand Naomi-chan to answer in Japanese, ask about her private life, nationality, ability to use chopsticks, food preferences, anime etc.

Good points.

The organizers of the French Open shot themselves in the foot when they criticized here for withdrawing from interviews.

Is it a better event now without her?

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

Leave the woman alone and stop trying to demonize her for wanting to take a break!

I am seeing many (any?) demonization of her. She had to do what she had to do, if it's really about her mental health. She is not wrong here, but neither is the French Open for fining her.

Mental and emotional depressions need empathy, not ridicule.

Please point out the post ridiculing her depression.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Best wishes, Naomi. Proud of you for sticking to your beliefs and feelings. Lots of posters in here don't seem to have the faintest clue about mental health and anxiety. And I'm afraid that the upper tennis management doesn't really care much, too.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Did they win because they were the best, or did they win because the best exited early.

I like your viewpoints on this issue,but there'd be no asterisk because her claycourt game ain't that good.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

there'd be no asterisk because her claycourt game ain't that good.

Or maybe it was good enough to win. No one will ever know.

The winner will always wonder.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Mental and emotional depressions need empathy, not ridicule.

Such a true statement. And it's perhaps the saddest thing to see anyone downvote a simple post like this.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Good for her. Doing what she believes is right and snubbing "the man".

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Did they win because they were the best, or did they win because the best exited early.

The prize money is still the same and the ranking scores don't change, so frankly, the winner doesn't care. Any besides, she was not the favorite to win.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

If it's written in her contract she's obliged to fulfill it!

If not, she has to deal with the consequences.

And if she can't handle the "pressure" from the press, maybe she should've found another "job".

Elsewise, hope she will get over it soon (I wanted to say feel well soon).

9 ( +17 / -8 )

The prize money is still the same and the ranking scores don't change, so frankly, the winner doesn't care.

Oh, you clearly don't understand how elite athletes work. If the money was the motivator, once they had it, they wouldn't have the drive to continue winning (and some don't). But the true athletes have a need to win. The money they get is a side benefit.

Any besides, she was not the favorite to win.

But as an amazing tennis player, maybe she would have.

No one will ever know. Including the winner.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Lots of posters in here don't seem to have the faintest clue about mental health and anxiety. And I'm afraid that the upper tennis management doesn't really care much, too.

It's not about mental health and anxiety, it's about seeking help and getting the care you need. Having an illness does not mean that the world has to reconfigure just for your situation. Mental illness and wellbeing is important and should be addressed, but when you pop up and say you are special and the clauses in your contract no longer apply, that is just not fair to the organizations you agreed to support AS well as your fellow players.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

The winner of this tournament will face a question-mark on the tournament for the rest of their lives. Did they win because they were the best, or did they win because the best exited early.

What a load of rubbish !

Her ability on clay is average at best.

whoever wins this major will be a deserved champion

10 ( +17 / -7 )

The winner will always wonder.

The winner will be bombarded with her withdrawal questions.If she were like Nadal on clay,sure.Question marks.But then,we will never know.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What a load of rubbish !

Her ability on clay is average at best.

That's what you guys were saying before she had her previous wins.

She probably would have won this one. Or maybe. No one will ever know. Hell of a question mark there.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

Having an illness does not mean that the world has to reconfigure just for your situation.

No, but it means you get to reconfigure just for your situation, and the world has to deal with that.

Better to be rich and alive, angering a bunch of entitled people, over suffering to the point of suicide to satisfy their vicarious demands for dopamine input.

I'm impressed with her. She didn't sell out to the money. She is looking out for herself, something clearly most of the posters in this thread aren't doing.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I just saw this on the National News. I would say dont shout out about mental problems. By all means get help buy why tell everyone about it.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Oh, you clearly don't understand how elite athletes work. If the money was the motivator, once they had it, they wouldn't have the drive to continue winning (and some don't).

Seems you clearly don't understand how this works. They have a lifestyle to support (and hanger-ons), which needs continuous very high level of income. This is true at any income level.

In case of Osaka, I met her once. She was standing literally right behind me on the escalator at Roppongi Hiils. With her, there was a posse of 4-5 people. You think it's cheap to keep those people employed?

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Seems you clearly don't understand how this works. They have a lifestyle to support (and hanger-ons), which needs continuous very high level of income. This is true at any income level.

Sure, but it's not the driver for the true elite. Winning, always; that's their driver. And the winner will always beat themselves up over whether or not they would have won.

But the entitled people deserved to be angry that Osaka didn't speak at the press conference. They were entitled to hear her speak. She cheated them out of their entitlement. They deserve their rage.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Droll Quarry

It's not about mental health and anxiety, it's about seeking help and getting the care you need. Having an illness does not mean that the world has to reconfigure just for your situation

Your point is well taken and you do acknowledge the issues with mental illness. Since this was just announced maybe we should wait and see what she does going forward. She may have hit her breaking point and this her way of getting help...or maybe not. I am quite sure even making such a decision will bring on more anxiety.

You are correct stating this affects the whole tournament and other players but I think what she does from now going forward will say more than this incident.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I personally wish Osaka the best. Mental health is a real issue with the youth. Ignore all the negative and rise above. Peace, love and tranquility is what we all need. Thank you for bringing up this issue Osaka. She is a legend.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

What a shame !

A world top ranked athlete engaging in such a tournament should not withdraw for such a matter, or not engage in the first place which would have been more respectful.

She never succeeded anyway at Rolland Garros

3 ( +9 / -6 )

zichiToday 07:18 am JST

Mental and emotional depressions need empathy, not ridicule.

I've seen her arguing with Japan-based American white supremacists on her twitter feed. She's clearly a good and honest person. It's very sad that her struggles with depression are met by hatred and a total lack of human empathy, just as it would be for anyone's daughter, sister or friend.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Sure a lot of drama for a tournament she had zero chance of actually winning. Let’s see how it goes next time when she thinks she can win.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

A world top ranked athlete engaging in such a tournament should not withdraw for such a matter, or not engage in the first place which would have been more respectful.

This is correct. The world is more entitled to watch her play tennis, than she is to work on her mental health. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just entitled.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Sure a lot of drama for a tournament she had zero chance of actually winning.

That's what they said before she won her previous tournaments. You guys were wrong then.

There will always be that question mark this time.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Give me a break. She made it rich and now doesn't have to speak to the media because she is a big star now. The sport that made her rich she turns her back on. Right.

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

Readers, no more spiteful comments please.

To be honest I'm not surprised she resigned, and fully support and understand her decision. I'm also not surprised but disgusted by the general lack of education, empathy and understanding displayed by the JT readers here.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Naomi's words.

“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she wrote in a statement, in part. “Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that sees me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety … I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Sport tends to bring the worst out in people IMO. Just look at the Olympics!!

Still fully support Naomi desire the bad vibes.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Facts matter.

Osaka has never been past the third round on the French Open's red clay. It takes seven victories to win a Grand Slam title,

5 ( +9 / -4 )

*despite

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nobody has a contractual obligation to do something that is bad for their health mental or otherwise. That’s not legally enforceable.

Again, I think it could have been handled and communicated better.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Her job is to be an excellent tennis player not for the media. So give her a break. It’s her life and it’s her own decision.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Depression is debilitating, torments the soul, take a break, family time is the best cure.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

If she is an introvert she shouldn't be a tennis player. When she was a little girl she used to watch her heros play, give interviews and autographs to fans. It's a part of the job. The moment she isn't playing tennis is her free time and have all the right to refuse to answer any questions by the media.

Also she shouldn't use social media as a platform to make controversial statements as it draws more attention towards her. You can't have your cake and eat it too

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

The rest of the players need to unite behind Naomi and pull out themselves.

Players are in the tournament to play tennis, not be herded around like cattle and forced to face idiotic interrogations from inane media types trying to sensationalized trivia and innuendo to sell trash stories.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Her decision, her choice.

The winner will be the winner and will not give a second thought as they will be swept up in the positive emotions of winning.

Osaka made her choice and understands someone will be the winner. Her focus now is on her healing.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

If she is an introvert she shouldn't be a tennis player.

Where exactly is this rule documented? I've never heard it before.

Also, it seems like a strange rule. I thought the idea of sport was to find the best competitor, not the best speaker. Why would they make a rule that would keep out some of the best competitors?

When she was a little girl she used to watch her heros play, give interviews and autographs to fans. It's a part of the job.

Yes, you people are very entitled to hear her speak.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Seems the Japanese language doesn't even have a word for depression. In the morning news her tweet was translated as something like "長いあいだに気持ちが落ち込んだ”, which sounds rather harmless...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Seems the Japanese language doesn't even have a word for depression.

鬱病 - うつびょう - utsubyou

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

LOVE YOU NAOMI, Go, Go, Go, your were an inspiration to my kid, and always will be for many kids on both sides of the Atlantic.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

“Pacific” @Mark 8:36am, if you’re including both the US, andJapan, Naomi Osaka’s place of birth:

@Mark 8:36am; “LOVE YOU NAOMI, Go, Go, Go, your were an inspiration to my kid, and always will be for many kids on both sides of the Atlantic.”- [?]

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Totally agree with Mark.

She'll be OK as long as she doesn't go to a psychologist or psychiatrist. It will start with some kind of "counselling" in which the psych will tell her what to think, the prescriptions will start and she will get deeper and deeper into the hole.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Naomi, could take closer look at PR advisers.

Some of the stress and tension, the doubt that creates/associated with depression, mood swings could be staring you in the face.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

On a positive note, Naomi Osaka’s situation has drawn much needed public attention to mental health issues.

Often overlooked by media as a tagline to such articles, there are some wonderful links in the upper ‘tab’ marked “Health”. (“If you, or someone you know, is struggling...”)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Another form of Work Place Bullying.

Good on you Naomi, for sticking up for yourself.

Depression, intimidation, anxiety, stress, are relevant and actually happening in all work places.

well done!

Have a good rest, and recovery.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The winner of this tournament will face a question-mark on the tournament for the rest of their lives. Did they win because they were the best, or did they win because the best exited early.

Yes, all you people who whined about her not joining the press conference, well this is what you get. This is why you can't have nice things.

She's the world no.2, not no.1. Also, clay is her weakest surface. Only you will be questioning the champion of this tournament.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Her life, her decisions.

The England cricket team has been hit with early retirements of senior and very established players due to mental health problems, some even mid-tour. One minute they are smashing the ball all around the ground and the next their career is over.

I'm a massive sports fan but the TV people really string them out now, with pre-match and post-match shows that are far longer than they used to be.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Don't we all have issues that we deal with on pretty much a daily basis ? We can all seek help and she certainly has the resources to seek help . Maybe some nasty posters are aware of this and are slightly envious of her wealth , which is not wrong at all . People take comfort dogs etc on planes , so is it not possible for Naomi to have comfort people near her at interviews or even a comfort translator she trusts for the interviews or perhaps she could wear a peaked cap with sunglasses to hide behind .There has to be a solution to her problem ,if not she has to say goodbye to the tennis world

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When you have mental issues, you do your best to recover and get stronger.

You are not going to play in French Open where the press point are very tough.

2 possibilities:

She just care about money that’s why she made interview with WOWOW and not the official interview after the first round.

She has just a childish attitude and doesn’t respect all other players who do the job with interview

Anyway, very disappointed by this new generation ( Kirgios, Thiem, Osaka). So weak mentally

Missing McEnroe and Connors so much hahaha

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

It is understandable that Osaka pulls out because she has depression so can't play any more there. This is her choice on she stays in French Open or not. No one can't complain about it.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Funny I thought she was there to play tennis???

Who cares abouit the press...the media don't own her and should have no say over what she can and can't do! Let her play tennis!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Naomi twitter in full......

https://twitter.com/naomiosaka/status/1399422304854188037/photo/1

Heartfelt.

Well, I am assuming Naomi keyboarded.

Oh hell, my cynical soul

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have more respect for her for pulling out than for skipping press conferences.

Hope she gets well soon.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Good for Naomi. She stands up for herself. With $40 or $50 million dollars income over a couple of years, she can afford to do what she wants. She could start her own tournament and leave the money grabbers in the dust. Or, she could go off and become anything she wants to. I think she will be back when she's ready. Go, Naomi.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

rules are made for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools. just show up to the press conference, give short, closed, one-word answers, and don't respond to anything other than a direct question about the match or tournament. contract fulfilled, fine avoided, mental health (hopefully) preserved.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

She get millions for hitting little yellow ball. She has a responsibility for sponsers

3 ( +10 / -7 )

It would be good if this led to the sports media taking their jobs seriously instead of asking “you lost, how do you feel?” and, for the Japanese press, “what is it like to be haafu? What do you like Japanese food and do you like our wonderful four seasons?”

5 ( +7 / -2 )

That is sad. I hope she works through it. There are various medicines and strategies to overcome social anxiety.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Richard Burgan, can wealth solve one mental health anxieties, as much a buy happiness, love?

Nope

Some group wrote a song about that.

karaoke time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If she really has mental problems, then this is the best decision. If she continues to have problems, then I don't think it's good for her to continue playing. I'm not saying this to be mean, but for her own health. Now, what is she going to do when it comes to the US Open and Australian Open? Everyone knows she's no good on clay, so she can afford to just ditch the French.

Nobody is forcing her to play tennis, and when you get paid big bucks, you're expected to do your bit and that includes giving press conferences, win or lose. If she doesn't like the terms, she can always find another job.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

She's a hot mess now, that's for sure.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Obviously, Naomi Osaka’s name alone ‘draws a lot of attention’ and some unfair scrutiny.

- “Serena 'feels for' Osaka; says she has also experienced very difficult press conferences” - Today 5:12am - 9:12am 0 Comments

In contrast, her former ‘idol’ and ‘fading’ rival, Serena Willams obviously attracts ‘none’.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I wonder if things would have turned out differently if she had chosen to stay as what she really is, a talented young American tennis player of mixed heritage, like many Americans and many of the rest of us. Becoming "Japanese" seems to have brought a great deal of, let's call it pressure, down onto her head.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Screw the "French Open"!

Athletes are not cattle! If they are having a rough time and can not deal with the media then they should be allowed to have a one off.

I do not respond to threats either, so I would walk away just like she did.

Nobody is forcing her to play tennis, and when you get paid big bucks, you're expected to do your bit and that includes giving press conferences, win or lose. If she doesn't like the terms, she can always find another job, although 'without US citizenship' she might have to come back to Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

She's a hot mess now, that's for sure.

The medias he is frustrated with includeanonymous ocial media posters and the platforms they use. Social media users who attack others should attach their pictures and CVs to allow others to comment on them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Osaka has also become the world's richest female athlete, overtaking Serena Williams. Last year, she earned $37.4 million.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

$37.4 million. can't cure depression.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If I were her I would retire now. Take the earnings, leave the toxicity and live a low profile in a depopulated area of Tascony or some other lovely area of Italy, off the radar. Become a painter and watch the depression disappear overnight.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Social media users who attack others should attach their pictures and CVs to allow others to comment on them.

She could also, you know, step back from social media if that media is also contributing to her issues. Quite a few athletes are doing this.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

At the end of the day, only Naomi has ALL the information to know what's best for her at this time. People that haven't suffered from depression themselves often have difficulty fully understanding it. It is not a weakness. It is not a character flaw, and it is not something she can just snap out of. Good for her for setting boundaries and doing what she needs to do to take care of herself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As far as I am concerned, if Osak is well enough to turn up for a tournament, she is also well enough to sit down with the press for a few minutes after the match. I believe players have the option of rescheduling the press conference, so there's no reason why she could not have taken in a hot bath / physio / media counselling from her advisors to ready her for the brief conference.

And another thing, Osaka, with her vast wealth and connections, has acces to the best trainers and counsellors money can buy. Most people with mental health issues typically do not have unlimited funds, so they receive correspondingly less support (if any at all). That is why Osaka has her detractors.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I hope she gets well, but she is at least in part bringing it on herself. When she said she refused to hold interviews for mental health reasons (still doing so for Japanese broadcaster WOWOW, as a poster pointed out), it ended up evidently making things much worse, didn't it? Reminds me of her rash decision to fire former coach when not doing well, and then doing TERRIBLY thereafter for some time. She can't have everything HER way, not when playing on the world stage and with contracts.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

She should probably just focus more on playing tennis and less on protesting and activism stuff.

Nobody cares.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Do 'sports stars' become slaves to the parasites who promote them? And, after working one's butt off at beyond 'top' output and feeling the drain and either having it be worth it or it being a bust and then having to sit still in front of a crowd of, by all appearances, absolute morons and patiently answer the SAME questions you have answered a thousand times already, over and over and over and over...again...while your body SHOUTS at you to get in the shower and put in an emergency call to the masseuse...athletes should ALWAYS listen to their bodies first. We have no real respect for our athletes, do we?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Gambatte Naomi-san. I hope you find peace and recover. It will be tragic if you follow the path of celebrities like Jennifer Capriatti or Britney Spears and have a public meltdown.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

o 'sports stars' become slaves to the parasites who promote them?

Sports stars have contractual obligations like everyone else. I doubt my bank would forgive me defaulting on my mortgage payments because I feel mentally oppressed by their terms.

Furthermore, Osaka is compelled or owned (like a slave) to work for those who promote them; she can simply withdraw from competition whenever she likes and deal with the accompanying consequences.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

*not compelled.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

A predictable outcome with neither side looking too bad. If I were Osaka's team, I would give social media a break for 2 days, show off AN instagram photo of an appointment schedule with a doctor hashtaged 'selfcare', and stay radio silent for the rest of the tournament. Focus on an Olympic comeback with a depression management story, win and watch the income go higher.

I personally think it was partly Osaka arrogance that made this a big story as she made her announcement, was stable enough to play, and then committed to her announcement thinking she has a legitimate shot to win.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It disgusts me to see all these heartless comments. Noami enjoyed playing tennis and discovered/developed her talent. She has social anxiety and got really anxious at press conferences. She probably tried her best to manage along the way but at times it still got over her head. Do you know what it is like for someone who suffers social anxiety? Can we be decent human beings and be empathetic with her instead of stoning her? What's the BS about she signed up to do press conferences as part of her job? Did she have a choice? She loves playing tennis, so should her try to overcome her social anxiety or give up her dream of becoming a top tennis player? What kind of morons would not try to support her? Simply imagine your daughter in her shoes. Would you still make the same criticisms?

I apologize if i had gone overboard. I almost feel her pain since my daughter has similar mental issue. It's hard to imagine the hell they had to go through trying to put up a brave facade every day. The least we can do is to be empathetic and supportive.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Putting athletes on some type of pedastal about the rest of us is bad for society as a whole and it appears to be bad for the athlete. Putting athletes on this pedastal also leads to foolish decisions such as inviting people from all over the world to Japan during a Pandemic for the Olympics.

Putting athletes on a pedestal is clearly descended from our warrior culture past where the strongest, fastest, toughest, and most physically creative would have been prized as the absolute best defenders of the tribe/city/state. Hence the original Olympics. That said some of them are paid obscene amounts, but it's what the market has been able to bear.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

First of all, I'm sorry to hear of her mental health struggles and hope she gets the help she needs.

For me, I'm surprised at how poorly this was handled on her end (not so much by her). She has people - agents, publicists, coaches, trainers, family.... Any one of those people could have approached the tennis authorities or media, explained things and asked for help / leeway. It seems odd to me that she could make such a unilateral decision without any consultation from her people. I'm sure they are aware of her situation and if not, are those really the people she needs surrounding her?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hope she can defeat her personal conflicts and go on to become a better person and a great player.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

xyberc agree, social media, PR.

The need to ingratiate one self on sponsorship.

Life on social media is a collider-scope of illusion or delusion on any number of levels.

Is this realty, or just another managed PR illusion?

If Naomi Osaka has mental health issues then this is paramount.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Are we not all immersed /submersed in an social media cesspool?

Not me for sure.

Face book and twitter, nope.

Log into JT and huff and puff and log out.

That simple, up, down walk away.

The issue for Naomi Osaka the revenue has stream engulfed her, at 23 years that is a hell of an obligation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many people will suffer bouts of depression during their lives. Osaka can highlight the problems and people can make a discussion.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This all goes back to 2018 @collegeparkga30349 ...

“I'm surprised at how poorly this was handled on her end (not so much by her). She has people - agents, publicists, coaches, trainers, family.... 

... and how the media handled Naomi Osaka HER win when she ‘bested Serena Williams’ headlining:

Naomi Osaka upsets Serena Williams to win controversial U.S. Open” -

“I’m so sorry it had to end like this,” she told the crowd, who booed during her trophy ceremony, with Osaka in tears over what should have been a moment of joy and triumph and a highlight of her career. She later told the U.S. “Today Show” that “I felt a little bit sad. I wasn’t really sure if they were booing at me or if it wasn’t the outcome they wanted.” -

Since then, seems she’s always ‘feeling the need to apologize’, even in winning. (These may be symptoms of significant, untreated disorders.)

"I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly," Osaka wrote. I think now the best thing for the tournament is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis” Osaka wrote. "I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer." -

Heartbreaking. ‘Shame on You, Serena Williams’ for trying to glom on to this current event, too.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This morning, Williams was on the TV, giving her love and support to Osaka.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I think Naomi-chan took the press conferences too seriously. You don't have to answer the questions.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I hope she recovers. Nobody deserves to have mental problems from work.

Saying that, I couldn't give a flying dingus about professional tennis or it's players. There are much more important things going on in the world.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As a long-term foreign resident in Japan who has suffered depression while living here, I hope that Naomi doesn't have to suffer the attacks of thick-headed, self-centered Japanese who think that saying gambatte kudasai is the only way of giving a person who is suffering mental issues support. The ideology of gaman (passive endurance) is a backward, antiquated bit of Neo-Confucianism that shows a total lack of respect for the value of the individual.

Remember Hana Kimura? I hope Naomi doesn't face the same pressure from her "fans" as she did.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

She also was threatened by all four Grand Slam tournaments with possible additional punishment, including disqualification or suspension, if she continued with her intention -

And this type of threat is one reason no group or athlete dares pull out of the Olympics.

By doing so they risk being penalised.

Injury, medical reasons are accepted ( if the relative association believes it) but even then it could result in some form of suspension or penalty.

If she is still planning on coming to the Olympics this may be used to disqualify her, if she pulls out of the Olympics that could be used to literally end her career.

In any other business these associations would be considered monopolies and would be illegal.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Basically, she can do whatever she wants. If she get's criticized, just fall back on BLM.

Perhaps her mental condition is not good, but one’s health is one’s own responsibility. Playing the perennial victim and blaming others for one’s personal problems is the modus operandi of a narcissist. And I mean that in the medical sense, not as a term of abuse.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Naomi, I feel you. However, never state you have a mental condition in public - the media will have a frenzy with it. Hire a spoke-person to do your talking. There is a strong possibility will end wrong on so many levels causing even further disarray. Please be well, safe and above all - happy. Keep a low profile. All the best.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

She actually looked depressed when she first won against Williams and what Williams said back then.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

obladiToday  07:36 am JST

yeah, I feel like @Mark. Somehow this issue, which is as far from most of our lives as you can get, is bringing out an ugly side of many readers.

Why get so upset about Naomi Osaka's life??

Just about every article gets that response on here, even the good news! Some people just live sad lives....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Not downplaying mental health issues but if I had the millions she has a few stupid questions from reporters would be the least of my problems.

Ignore them get off of twitter and do your thing play tennis.

I am dealing with one parent with dementia, 2 others over 95 that need constant supervision, 2 children that recently graduated university but with the covid Problems their companies have closed down, so now trying to support everyone, pay of loans for their universities, deal with very little business and demanding clients that I cannot just ignore as if they were tweets on twitter.

I get tired of reading about these super rich privileged people that go on about how hard it is for them.

They can afford the good life and the best medical/mental health services money can buy.

The rest of us have to hope we can find help and in Japan that is rarely under national healthcare.

If I had $50 million I would have retired a long time ago taken up some hobby in her case maybe teach tennis to underprivileged children for fun and enjoy life.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

It must be hard to be an uber-successful capitalist and a committed Marxist all at the same time. It’s enough to make one question their sanity.

It just means you have compassion and do not revel in exploitation unlike some in the capitalist classes.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Retire from tennis, why? She is only 23.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

It is clear from some of the comments here that the authors have no idea, let alone sympathy for, people with mental illness. Depressed people are often angry at their situation and themselves, at how they find life so difficult. Anxiety is commonly accompanying depression, and it is difficult to cope with. For someone like Naomi, in the public eye with great expectations put upon her by the public and those she works with, I can well imagine that it could all prove too much at some point, and that she would feel compelled to pull out of her commitments for her own sanity. I think she made the right decision.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

She needs to pull a Marshawn lynch on the media.

Show up, and just reply to each question with, "i am just here so I don't get fined." or "Appreciate you for asking, next question."

She shows up, does not get fined and the media learn that they won't get anything out of her.

By Athletes making all of these political statements which are fine for an athlete to do, it is going to open them up to questions, that is just what happens when you are famous and rich and the worlds top at anything.

Anyhow, I am a big fan, and hope she feels better soon.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Navratilova, and More Stars Show Support for Naomi Osaka.........

https://people.com/sports/serena-williams-martina-navratilova-more-speak-out-after-naomi-osaka-quits-french-open-for-mental-health/

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I'm not a fan, but have sympathy. Not everybody is comfortable being famous and dealing with all that comes with it. It can be very disorienting and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the reason she gets millions instead of a normal salary (like a tennis coach, for example) is because of her entertainment value as a celebrity. And being a celebrity today can be pretty unpleasant at times. She has to either learn to deal with it or just turn her back on it. I imagine she has enough now that she doesn't need to do tournaments anymore. She could still make a good income teaching and playing only in tournaments that don't require press conferences.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

tony w:

It is clear from some of the comments here that the authors have no idea, let alone sympathy for, people with mental illness.

I can't speak for others, but if she really does have some mental issues, then I do have sympathy. But why is she not taking time off or trying to find a different career that doesn't put her mental health at risk? Press conferences are part and parcel of top level tennis, just like many other top-level sports. She also has the luxury to retire now and live financially well off. And she doesn't have to keep her social media accounts switched on. Is the money really that important now? Maybe that's why some people seem to have no sympathy.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Retire from tennis, why? She is only 23.

Why not? With $50 million is more money than most would ever need, just lay back enjoy life, play for the fun of it.

If really bored then spend time helping those she thinks are underprivileged and not getting a fair shake.

If at 23 I had that money I would have just done my art/craft work I enjoyed I would have had plenty to pay to support my family, care for my parents and not have the massive stress I have now while nearly broke.

When something because no longer enjoyable as it clearly seem in her case than if you can afford to just get out leave the stress to those that can handle it or don't care about it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good decision to withdraw.

She was never going to win. Everyone knew this, especially her. That's what was causing her anguish. As she said: "it can create self-doubt to have to answer questions after a loss". She knew she was going to lose in the early rounds, so jumped before she was pushed.

This also avoids her being banned from the other grand slams. And she can also focus on her tennis rather than complaining about her contractual obligations. Isn't it amazing that such a shy woman - as she claims to be - can be so outspoken when it suits her?

She can now practise on grass to prepare for Wimbledon, where hopefully she will be able to put on a better show. As I said, withdrawing from the French Open was best for everyone.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Naomi had better steer clear of social media in any form. Especially in Japan, it will be full of poisonous statements from people with undeveloped, reptile brains that will get after her for being "weak."

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Naomi is spin, the very definition of "wait and see" political insinuation and wait.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I would immediately volunteer to exchange her ‘problems’ with mine. Is it a deal? Highly probable not. lol

1 ( +5 / -4 )

She probably would have won this one. Or maybe.

Yes, only maybe. Probably not, as she has had her success on hard courts.

Too bad this press conference debacle occurred here and not at the US open because I’d like to see her performances on clay (and grass)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I support the fact that she pulled out. Ridiculous rules at the French Open (remember the: Serena Williams catsuit ban) and the mindless media who just want to make a player emotional so that they can sell the story. So in the end by her pulling out, anyone who wins this tournament will always wander if they really won. And will always have an ( * ) same as 2020 Olympics...

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Will the fans ever truly commute with Naomi Osaka?

Think about that.!

it is all if's but and maybes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Antiquesaving

Retire from tennis, why? She is only 23.

Why not? With $50 million is more money than most would ever need, just lay back enjoy life, play for the fun of it.

So for you, it's only about the money and not the game. Williams could have retired years ago too but like Osaka, she wants to play professional tennis until she can't. Just like most professional sports people.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Maybe it's best if she quits tennis so she can stay out of the limelight? You can't have it both ways.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

No matter what this woman does she will be criticized. You all need to get back to work, and ket us retired folks handle the comments section! Go work your 90 hoir work week for your ¥230,000 a month!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I do feel sorry for her. But on the other hand, she did sign those endorsements and getting sponsorships. If she wanted to be treated "normally", then forget about the money. Money brings responsibility and pressure. Doesn't she know that when she signed? If she only plays tennis and do not have any endorsement, then I can understand she wants to do what she wants. So, now she's famous and rich, so she can do whatever she wants? Come on, grow up please. Or give up all your endorsements and be a normal tennis player.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

For a celebrity to say they don’t like press questions when they brandish their political affiliations all over the court, is funny. She made her own controversy. It has made her even richer and more famous than she would have been from tennis.

Naomi Osaka has never been very communicative even in her own language, English. Usually athletes get used to that with experience.

As for tennis ability, she may be the best - not sure. But there are several other women at a similar level who are able to knock her out on any given occasion. She is not another Tiger Woods, and not even another Serena Williams in terms of athletes dominating their game.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

One picks up a racket and hit the the ball.

Ok don't do the press.

But to then turn this into a mental heath issue?

I don't for one minute buy that.

Sorry I don't

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Ridiculous rules at the French Open (remember the: Serena Williams catsuit ban)

Remember that only the white color is accepted at the British Open

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

You can't suspend me I'm pulling out lol

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Like I always said, leave the girl alone, let her make up her own decisions and allow her to make her own mistakes and pathways and she’ll be ok. She’s young, she’s allowed to be be dumb and grow. People need to respect that.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

We stand by you .

1 ( +6 / -5 )

bass4funk, you don't only admire Naomi racket action?

The pull out, is a loss.

Defining that loss, in a sentence?

Go on you are a clever guy, assuming your are male , who cares?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

For those saying she has this right or that right to not follow the rules that the rest have to.

Ask yourselves this if your boss tells you that you now have to work the nightshift, or go work in anoth location, etc.. what do you do if you don't like that?

Can you afford to quit?

Do you say no and expect the company to just accept your choice?

Do you do like most and accept because you need to work as you don't have millions of dollars to just refuse to work?

This is just another example of the rich complaining!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

you don't only admire Naomiracket action?

Not so much. But I do support her in the sense that she doesn’t owe these people anything.

The pull out, is a loss.

Defining that loss, in a sentence?

Go on you are a clever guy, assuming your are male , who cares?

what?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Ebony, yes すばらしい,

The issue here is that Naomi Osaka pulled out for one reason or another.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I know the CEO's of two big Japanese talent agencies.

They have rules that all their actors/talent delete their twitter, FB and Instagram accounts.

The PR department takes responsibility to create them and run them.

The clients are told to avoid reading these accounts, this avoids them being bullied, stressed etc...

The things she seems not to be able to do is quite social media or ignore it.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

bass4funk

Like I always said, leave the girl alone, let her make up her own decisions and allow her to make her own mistakes and pathways and she’ll be ok. She’s young, she’s allowed to be dumb and grow. People need to respect that.

Look I agree with bass

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Forget it bass4fun, my crazy sense of humor.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Organizers are upset because fans actually want to watch the player interviews not the games

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Naomi is one of the most gracious professional tennis players I have seen.

I was a 2 sport college recruit; one being tennis, and I participated in major tennis events as a teenager. The mental energy expended in just preparing for a match is incredible. Very easy to get angry at oneself, and always needing to focus, trying not to think too much, at there same time trying to look confident---all this even before the other player serves. I have met and come to know many pros, and many of them have sports psychologists. Not so in my other sport.

When the tennis match was over, I didn't want to talk to anyone--just wanted quiet time to playback key points in my head basically.

In my other sport I played in front of thousands of spectators during college. Total breeze. Even did interviews, and these were fun, unless we lost.

The difference is that the road to becoming a tennis player versus an being an athlete on a team is that everything is focused on you and no one else, from a young age, and during the match you are the only person responsible for the outcome of every single point. So, I empathize with Naomi, and I know she would spend whatever money she could if it would help her overcome her mental health issues.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

No matter what this woman does she will be criticized.

Not necessarily. If she took a break quit tennis for good, I wouldn't criticize her because she's doing something positive for her mental health.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I'm happy to hear that other celebrities commented about her utterance. because many Japanese athletes are low position and they are afraid to say something to make an opponent. But she is not the same. she talked whatever she thought if against people are major. I respect her totally as a Japanese athlete. Major respect to her.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My sympathy is with the young tennis player. I wish her only the best.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Could not the young tennis player PR advisers played this to its base level?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Like I always said, leave the girl alone, let her make up her own decisions and allow her to make her own mistakes and pathways and she’ll be ok. She’s young, she’s allowed to be be dumb and grow. People need to respect that.

I do support her in the sense that she doesn’t owe these people anything.

I do agree with Bass.

Though, I feel bad for all the entitled people here for whom Osaka cheated them out of the speech and tennis viewership they were entitled to.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I show respect for Naomi Osaka by agreeing with her, for her feelings and her health are being disrespected.

So she signed a contract, well then her mental health may have been OK.

Say she contracted COVID, would she still be required to attend for a press conference, no she would not because this would have gone against the quarrentine restrictions. Well she has not contracted COVID but has serious mental health issues, so she is not well and therefore is not required to abide by her contract.

In fact should a clause to be forced to attend press conferences be in the contract to start with for this smacks of power abuse, by the ruling authorities and the overpowerful media.

Health has to come first in every issue.

If she was forced against her will to do a press conference and this caused her to commit suicide, would the contract and the authorities be guilty of murder or at least manslaughter.

The power of these authorities and the media need to be curtailed and putting clauses in contracts that can be deemed to be misuse of power need to be made illegal.

This is the 21st century and not the Middle Ages, for the choices of individuals need to be respected and accepted

4 ( +4 / -0 )

StrangerlandJune 1 07:33 am JST

The winner of this tournament will face a question-mark on the tournament for the rest of their lives. Did they win because they were the best, or did they win because the best exited early.

Yes, all you people who whined about her not joining the press conference, well this is what you get. This is why you can't have nice things.

Not at all.  Will Novak Djokovic face a question mark for the rest of his life when he defeated Andy Murray to win the 2016 Roland Garros tournament after Rafael Nadal withdrew due to an injury?  I doubt it highly.  Djokovic may have also had an injury but played through it. Murray is world class. By the way, how many lives does one have? I thought the winner of this tournament has only one life, not lives.

 

This is why you can’t have nice things? 

 Huh?  You need to get off the weed and LSD as it does not make you a “Better person” or one of the “Enlightened few”, as once claimed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If she was forced against her will to do a press conference and this caused her to commit suicide, would the contract and the authorities be guilty of murder or at least manslaughter.

The power of these authorities and the media need to be curtailed and putting clauses in contracts that can be deemed to be misuse of power need to be made illegal.

This is the 21st century and not the Middle Ages, for the choices of individuals need to be respected and accepted

She was not forced to sign the contract. It was choice and freewill so you yourself should respect that choice.

Anyway I myself have no problems with her choosing not to do the presscon, I'm sure not doing so and the penalties are also provided for in the contract.

But it would have been best for all parties if she did not attend the tournament in the first place.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Though, I feel bad for all the entitled people here for whom Osaka cheated them out of the speech and tennis viewership they were entitled to.

In a team sport you have your teammates to support you. In individual sports like tennis and golf it’s all up to you. At the pro-level you either cope or you don’t. Osaka can afford to get any and all of the support she needs to get her head straight. Even so, it still requires maturity on her part to overcome the competitive pressures. I think if she stopped her social justice preaching it would take most of the pressures off of her interviews. She just isn’t yet capable of telling other people how morally inferior they are to her (and the $50 million in privilege she possesses),

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Maybe it is time to learn that is is not all about you Naomi

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Naomi, just play the interviews for laughs. When you win, tell them you just got lucky today. Tell them you thought you were playing someone else and planned for the wrong game and it amazingly all worked out. Tell them you think someone probably paid her to throw the match. Pretend you are Dick Dastardly, and tell them you put weights in her shoes so she couldnt run fast, or swapped her contact lenses over so that she put them in the wrong eyes. Just don’t take it seriously.

When you lose, just tap your hand gently on their forearm, lean forward conspiratorially, and pretend to tell them a big secret. “Don’t write this in your reports, but I believe that “Serena/whoever” didn’t want me to win, and was doing everything she could to try to stop me from winning.” The nod knowingly, as if confirming that you will stand by this revelation in a court of law if necessary.

Start each answer with something like “please dont tell anyone but ....”, “promise you won’t tell anyone.....” “just between you and me ......” “don’t tell anyone I told you but ...” “I would be mortified if this got out, but I think she actually played better than I did today and deserved to win”

If they ask anything about politics, race, activism, private lives, anything other than the game that just happend or the the next one coming up, just say “I don’t think being able to hit a tennis ball qualifies me to say anything about it.”

Just have fun with them and be playful, tell ridiculously obvious untruths and don’t let them know whether anything you say is just a joke or not. “Why do you think everything went so badly today ?” - “Ohhhh I dunno, I heard that Mercury was entering a retrograde phase and that sagittarians shouldn’t even get out of bed for the next few days. I thought I did pretty well under the circumstances.” “But your birthday is in ??? you aren’t a sagittarian ???” - “Yeah that’s right, sorry what’s your point ?”

If you can’t think these things up for yourself, pay someone (me) a lot of money to think them up for you :)

Finally, get yourself in a quiet place, headphones on full blast and play U2, “Don’t let the bas***ds grind you down” At least once a day.

Peace and Love :)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

She would have been much better off not getting involved in all the BLM/social justice garbage.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's sad to see here and in other comment forums that the sentiment from detractors is overarchingly similar: mental health/stability v. success/professionalism are an either/or dichotomy. If you need to take care of your mental health you shouldn't have signed up for X job, etc. I've also encountered this crap in the cavern of toxicity, that is, the japanlife subreddit board: if you suffer from anxiety you shouldn't be working overseas. It's a very close-minded and uncreative mentality to think that only one type of person should do a certain type of job. If we're talking neurosurgeons, pilots, military commanders, or a job where people's lives are on the line, I think it's a different conversation, but trying to balance/take care of your mental health and being in a demanding/spotlight/non-traditional job are not mutually exclusive. Lastly, Osaka was aware that she would be fined if she didn't follow through with the interviews. Why are so many people getting their panties in a twist that she weighed the pros and cons and decided not to do the interview? It's one thing to think that depression and anxiety don't exist because it hasn't happened to you, but grace and empathy cost you nothing. If Osaka's tennis career stops here and her mental health greatly improves, what's the issue?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's one thing to think that depression and anxiety don't exist because it hasn't happened to you, but grace and empathy cost you nothing. If Osaka's tennis career stops here and her mental health greatly improves, what's the issue?

The issues is that they are denied the viewership they are entitled to. I don't understand how anyone could think that Osaka has the right to focus on her mental health after being paid to make money for the tennis world. Don't people understand that by making money as a pro athlete, she is now owned, and a possession, whose mental state is irrelevant due to her owing the people their right to have their entitlement satisfied?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

By the way, how many lives does one have? I thought the winner of this tournament has only one life, not lives.

 

This is why you can’t have nice things? 

 Huh?  You need to get off the weed and LSD as it does not make you a “Better person” or one of the “Enlightened few”, as once claimed.

Ya? Says you.

You speaking from experience? Maybe kick back with a brew once in a while, light a few and get back to us.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. I bet nobody will even remember her name in a couple of year.

Another one too woke to to her job. Or maybe the $ 55 million she made last year had gotten to her head. Get over yourself, girl, or get lost!

last year, her mental health didn’t stop her from giving non-stop press conferences about BLM.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

She is better returning back to play for the US rather than Japan.

Japanese xenophobes will only give her mental illnesses in the long run.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

She is better returning back to play for the US rather than Japan.

Japanese xenophobes will only give her mental illnesses in the long run.

Look at the toxicity she gets on this site from non-Japanese people.

And look at the racial issues in the US.

I don't think one country is going to give her less of a hard time than the other.

She should retire. She's proven herself, and she's loaded. She doesn't need these losers who think they own her.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm just envious, of course, but it's hard to empathize with someone who makes money by the millions.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

She is acting like Prince Harry and the idiot he married. Well, she keeps it up she won’t have much of a tennis career.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

She surely loves getting the attention....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Please stay sane.it is never easy to be a celebrity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Matchpoint!!! At this time Naomi doesn't need tennis the highest paid female athlete can tell Tennis good bye!! Tennis

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So many people want to judge Osaka-san. You can only judge if you can remotely play tennis at her level. If not, sit down. Osaka-san can do whatever the hell she wants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Danielsan is perfectly right. We watch tennis players compete to see who is the best tennis player. That is what makes the sport. The public is being fooled into believing live press conferences are a requirement of the game, where reporters are unregulated and free to ask ridiculous questions designed to invoke fear, anger, doubt and rejection. And many of these questions may have nothing to do with tennis. The press can ask if she is a “real Japanese”, why don’t you speak Japanese, what’s going on with your love life, etc. If the French Open were so concerned with players’ mental and emotional health, maybe the committee should pre-screen the questions the press asks. And no, the other athletes do not need to attend the press conferences either. Sometimes it’s good to know when to break the rules when the rules are illogical.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How many posters actually play and follow tennis especially the big tournaments? Obviously some don't because if you did you'd know what kind of questions tennis journalists from countries other than Japan ask.

Journalists overwhelmingly have been very easy in their questioning of Naomi - some of that comes from when she had to put up with the boos and stress of a New York crowd going crazy for Serena, rooting for her against the newcomer when Naomi won the US Open. Tennis journalists also tend to be professional.

Naomi seems to have been advised badly by those around her. Her feelings were discussed with French Open organisers BEFORE she went on twitter, that is why she and her advisers were served notice that the rules were going to apply to her and when she played in any other major tournament. Using social media platforms instead of showing some respect for organisers and keeping discussions going with them was plain wrong.

What is clear is Naomi doesn't want to come out and initiate any kind of debate about unnecessary questions asked by Japanese journalists and Japanese on social media criticizing her including those who are racist. She probably should not have chosen J citizenship as she is free in the US to criticize the country and society - as she has openly done. I don't expect she will ever have the courage to do that with regard to Japan.

It's interesting how the Japanese media ran headlines like the Hachimura brothers have been victims of racism - and focused on the US whereas Rui's younger brother has clearly stated he has had the problem in Japan.

Rui himself in the past a few times has mentioned the racism against him and his family but seems to have shelved that now he lives and plays in the US. Sports pros get praised for their stances in the US and often enhance their sponsorship deals etc by being 'activists' - it takes courage to make a stand regarding the problems in Japanese society and neither Naomi nor Rui have so far met that challenge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Asiaman7June 1  06:36 am JST

A New York Times article on the topic notes that Osaka did take a few questions from WOWOW, the Japanese broadcaster with which she is under contract, after her first-round French Open match on Sunday.

So if she took some questions from Nissin, another of her sponsors, that would have been a game changer too?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

GdTokyoJune 1  06:51 am JST

I love Naomi. She gives everything she has on the court. She has exemplary sportsmanship and she is genuine in her interactions with the press.

I think she would admit that this could have been handled better, but I support her decision. It’s painfully obvious when she does interviews that they are very stressful for her and she struggles to say the right thing the right way.

We’ve seen this before with Zack Grenkie in MLB and Ricky Williams in the NFL.

Imagine having to answer the same inane questions from the same aggressive moronic reporters from the New York Post, The Daily Mail, or its Japanese equivalent every single day. It’s a wonder no one has dropped an F-bomb yet. Maybe they should

The real losers are the tennis fans and the Grand Slam officials with their one size fits all approach. And let’s be clear: it’s the French Open that looks bad here, not Naomi. They issue a wushu-washy statement and then don’t take questions. Where is their 15k fine?

Depression is a hard but real onus to live with for millions of people. If having an interview during a bad stage would aggravacate matters then they should leave her alone.

And the sports media in the past has a bad habit of amplifying atheletes' problems. A few years ago an Olympic gold medalist was dogged by a media brat about his recently deceased brother right on the spot. The winner started crying and that little Famous 15 for the reporter was unprofessional and uncalled for.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bravo, Lady.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

strange that its ok to withdraw from a tournament for mental health reasons with no penalty but if you try to pull out of sn interview you get fined and threatened with career ending sanctions. ???

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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