Win or lose, good efficiency or unhealthy, skilled athletes know postgame interviews are a part of the deal. Even when they’re nonetheless processing a wrenching defeat, they’re anticipated to take a seat on the podium and discipline questions on what went fallacious, why they made this selection or that one, how they’re going to transfer ahead — the listing goes on. The journalists asking these questions are simply doing their jobs, however there is no doubt it is a powerful scene for the athletes, particularly these taking part in particular person sports activities with no teammates or coaches to function buffers.
In the present day, Naomi Osaka shocked the tennis world by asserting that she wouldn’t be doing any press on the upcoming French Open, together with the post-match press conferences. The 23-year-old tennis star wrote on Twitter, “I am simply not going to topic myself to individuals who doubt me,” noting that in post-match press conferences, she’s usually requested the repetitive questions or ones that sow doubt in her thoughts, which could be detrimental to athletic efficiency and psychological well being alike.
Explaining additional, Osaka mentioned she’s seen too many athletes “breaking down after a loss within the press room,” and mentioned the scenario is akin to kicking an individual whereas they’re down. “I do not perceive the reasoning behind it.” At that time, it isn’t about getting a narrative or attempting to know an athlete’s efficiency; it has to do with the athlete’s psychological well being, which Osaka mentioned individuals have “no regard for.” She mentioned she really has a pleasant relationship with most journalists and that the choice wasn’t private, however centered on preserving her personal psychological well being.
Osaka additionally referred to as out one other questionable trade commonplace, saying that she would tackle a “appreciable” effective by opting out of press at Roland Garros. “If organizations assume that they’ll simply preserve saying, ‘do press otherwise you’re gonna be fined,’ and proceed to disregard the psychological well being of the athletes which are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I simply gotta snigger,” she mentioned.
In taking a stand for psychological well being, Osaka can be questioning why athletes ought to should do issues the best way they’ve at all times been accomplished, particularly when a conference like this may do hurt to their psychological well being. We have come to count on nothing much less from Osaka, who’s not afraid to make use of her voice for what she believes in, be that racial justice or psychological well being. This time round, she’ll take a stand by saying nothing in any respect — and letting her efficiency on the courtroom do the speaking as a substitute. Learn Osaka’s full message beneath.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 26, 2021