tennis

Other athletes support Osaka's decision to skip press conferences at French Open

36 Comments
By Julien Pretot

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36 Comments
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For $55.3M I would sit through any number of media conferences. :)

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Good for her!

She is not only good at business, and tennis, she is not afraid to speak her mind and has a moral compass.

A great example for Japanese women.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

Good for her!

Boy times have changed. When Marshawn Lynch didn't speak and when Cam Newton left the press conference early after the Super Bowl, everyone here and on social media were calling them "thugs." Now everyone has hopped on the woke train and all resistance is considered cool. I wonder what 5 years later will bring.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Of course the head of the tennis federation in France is going to come out against her, it's all money and exposure for him!

He would have been better off actually listening to Osaka's reasoning, and did something about setting up guidelines that the press MUST follow in their interviews.

They are athletes, not game to be hunted!

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

For $55.3M I would sit through any number of media conferences. :)

Easy to say when you don't have to prove it.Get to her level and then show us.Lol.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Complain that she talks too much, now complaining that she doesn’t. Make your minds up.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

Good on Naomi-chan.

Hopefully this sets a precedent and other athletes dont have to compulsorily attend these ridiculous press "conferences" after 5 hours of play. The press are vultures and always seem to be on the attack with Naomi, asking pathetic questions about nationality, food, non-tennis issues etc that she shouldnt have to bother with.

Naomi-chan has the human right to speak to who she wants, when she wants. She couldnt care if she gets fined a few measly coins when she earns $50 million a year!

Go Naomi-chan!!

3 ( +17 / -14 )

I don't always agree with what she says, but in this case she is on point, it is actually cringy how the press conferences are conducted and nothing of value come ever from them, I am completely for changing them towards something better or just skip them all together and replace them with some professional analysis. Athletes have a lot of tools to communicate if they want to say something.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

non-tennis issues etc that she shouldnt have to bother with.

She's the one who unilaterally raises the non-tennis issues, on Twitter and elsewhere. She should have to "bother with them."

>

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Naomi Chan is changing the world for the better

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

I support her completely. Athletes should be able to focus on the sport they're playing without any obligations to talk to the media. There are plenty of athletes who love gabbing with the press; let those people do it and let the more private people play their sport and go home in peace when the match is over.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Sooner or later the sponsorship will dry up, could ultimately l have a determinantal effect to the sport at grass roots level.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Dealing with the press is part of being a top athlete in one of the world's most popular sports, is it not?

Is there some reason in particular that this is happening now? Are there any specific requests or ideas for improvement? Does this actually lead anywhere? At what point will press conferences again become "acceptable"? Will all questions need to be approved in advance?

Sorry, I'm not feeling too charitable about this at the moment. Lots of jobs don't require frequent press conferences. She picked one job that does. That's the way it goes. If you want the millions and your face on TV, then this is the flip side of that coin.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

When she talks to the media: “Who cares, she should just focus on the game, she’s just appeasing her sponsors, play sport”

When she doesn’t talk to the media:

”Who does she think she is? She’s going to ruin the sport, she gets paid millions, I’m suddenly interested in what she has to say”

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Sorry Osaka you are just plain WRONG on this one & by a very large margin. Just sayin!

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before

Sounds like life as an English teacher.

But rather than throwing a tantrum, most people just get on with their job.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The media talk to the people who pay for expensive tickets to see her play which in turn go towards paying her rather large salary.

When she or her sponsors wants to be 'woke' and ensure the flow of money, it's ok to talk with the media then.

'Cutting off nose to spite face' comes to mind here.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

How irritating this woman is. Just retire so we don't have to hear or see you anymore.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

She just said in Australia that it's important to get new people into the sport. I don't see how that squares with her little fit now.

Every person who is interviewed (sports, politics, entertainment, etc.) has the same questions asked continually.

I think it would be great if the press never asked her another question for the rest of her life. They should boycott her after when decides to let the people ask her something again. Imagine how great it would be if she held a press conference and no one asked her a question - complete silence, or everyone leaves the room.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

the woke warriors march on... yes its so difficult to answer questions lol

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

But rather than throwing a tantrum, most people just get on with their job.

Unfortunately there are a few of those that can only grin and bear it for so long then they reach that breaking point and explode. A Welsh guy I knew here many years back exploded at one of his students because she said that he used chopsticks so well. He screamed at her that he had been in Japan for decades so of course he could use chopsticks and what kind of sick person she was for saying that. He didn't last much longer in Japan after that. I have been in Japan for a long time too and just smile and say thank you for similar remarks. Cooler heads prevail.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I don't blame her given the ridiculous things media asks professional tennis players. Remember the interviewer who asked Eugenie Bouchard to do a twirl?

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/tennis/eugenie-bouchard-asked-to-twirl-by-on-court-presenter-1.2921644

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A Welsh guy I knew here many years back exploded at one of his students because she said that he used chopsticks so well.

If the reporters keep asking Osaka if she can use chopsticks, I actually support her walking out of the press office!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I am astonished at Naomi san reticence, when required to support the promotional/PR/ media role as a top tennis professional.

Say, Naomi san wins a tournament, in this case the French Open /Roland Garros.

Then refuses to meet the press? 

I don't one minute believe that Naomi san is incapable of using her forehand to swish away the odd dodgy media/press return.

This has diva written all over it, a PR stunt.

Miss huff puff handbags.

Clever though.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Watch those Sumo wrestler interviews with their one-word answers squeezed out between heavy breathing. The questions are pretty formulaic, but it's the emotions behind their faces that the public feeds off.

Maybe they could give her a keyboard to punch yes or no answers into, or a series of flags she can hold up in answer. Even a thumb up or down would work. The human behind the hero, her smile, her humor, or her tears are really what the public wants.

Maybe she needs a session of interview counselling. Nothing to be afraid of there, Naomi!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

According to the Grand Slam rule book, players can be fined up to $20,000 for skipping a media conference but Osaka said she was ready to accept any sanction.

Osaka hoped the "considerable amount" that she expected to forfeit would go towards a mental health charity.

She's trying to make the case by accepting sanction risks with a little humor or sarcasm. I personally like such an attitude though not sure whether her idea is the best solution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I’m glad she doesn’t want to talk because she has nothing worth hearing.

which is sad because she could have some deep insight on Black on Asian crime, disparate treatment of non white foreigners in Japan, dual citizenship or the cancellation of Olympics.

instead just parrots any of the latest “popular” slogans when it suits her.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

She's just dodging awkward questions about Tokyo Olympics

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I’m glad she doesn’t want to talk because she has nothing worth hearing.

hmmm...

instead just parrots any of the latest “popular” slogans when it suits her.

Sounds like Trump fans on the forum. hmmmm...

2 ( +7 / -5 )

which is sad because she could have some deep insight on Black on Asian crime, disparate treatment of non white foreigners in Japan, dual citizenship or the cancellation of Olympics.

Give her time, that will probably come later with age, right now like a lot of young leftist kids in celebrity athlete roles like hers they don't realize their words can have an array of meaning depending on how the person perceives it. She doesn't realize the media is not her friend, all they want her to do and like with most athletes of color and that is use them as a mouthpiece to push the narrative of racism and strained race relations and make themselves to be the victim when they clearly are not in any way, shape or form victims.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Her going deep into the tournament will keep her sponsers happier than any media call she attends. The good people at Roland Garros are more concerned about their relationships with the broadcasters than the well-being of any of the competitors, and fair enough.

She could even save the tournament money. They'll just deduct her fines from any prize/ appearance money she makes. I'd like to say they'll donate the fines to a mental health organisation like she suggested yesterday, but... .

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan will from next spring revive mental health education in high schools, axed four decades ago,

just read this in JT national/home news with most posters saying it's come too late and more should have been done ....

Now we have a young woman bringing this issue to the forefront and all of a sudden it's not a problem, it's her having a hissy fit. People with mental health will continue to suffer as long as we have people critical of others trying to shine a light on this problem.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

She's just following the rules

The rules say: have a media conference, or pay the fines - so she's choosing to pay the hefty fines

Obviously, she values her mental health to be worth more than the hefty fines

Fortunately for her, she's in the enviable position that she now can afford to pay the hefty fines

The better her mental health, the more she wins matches. The more matches she wins, the more money she makes. The more money she makes, the more she can afford to pay the hefty fines

That's likely her plan

5 ( +7 / -2 )

She is immature, and she knows that her own worst enemy is her emotions. Maybe this is the right decision for her now.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I guess most of us can't imagine being in her situation.

She's rich, and so should she grin and bear it? I think she worked hard to get where she is. Is she not entitled to tell the press where to go? And if the outcome is a more boring media, but with more information, I will applaud her even more.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Misleading title.

The first couple of athletes are only 50% in their support. I also read Nadal in another article saying that he "understands" but it's also part of the job.

I agree with @donburi. This is silly. I'd sit through any number of press conferences for 55 million.

Yes, I would.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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