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Naomi Osaka announces French Open media blackout, citing mental health concerns

Naomi Osaka announces French Open media blackout, citing mental health concerns
Naomi Osaka

By Jason Baer

Naomi Osaka has no plans to speak with reporters during the French Open.

The three-time Grand Slam champion announced Wednesday that she will not do any media availability while competing at Roland Garros, citing mental health concerns for herself and fellow players. She posted this on Twitter:

Naomi Osaka announces French Open media blackout, citing mental health concerns

Osaka went on to say she has nothing personal against the French Open and some journalists with whom she has a friendly relationship, but made a pointed comment about organizations threatening to fine athletes if they don’t speak to media without considering the mental health side of things.

Osaka ended the statement by conceding she’ll face a “considerable amount” in fines for her decision, but hopes that money will go toward a mental health charity.

The 23-year-old Osaka will be attempting to win her first French Open title. She has +1600 odds at BetMGM of winning the tournament. Mostly known for her success on hard courts, Osaka has never advanced past the third round at Roland-Garros and missed last year’s tournament due to a hamstring injury.

Fines will likely be nothing to Naomi Osaka

The 2021 official Grand Slam rulebook explicitly says that a player or team must attend post-match news conferences organized within 30 minutes of the end of their match, unless injured or physically unable to appear. A violation subjects a player to a fine of up to $20,000. 

Considering Osaka made an estimated $55.2 million last year, more than any other female athlete in the world, the fines she faces will be a relative pittance unless there is an escalation for repeat offenders.

SOURCE – Yahoo Sports

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