Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Roland Garros 2021 due to the media storm unleashed after the young Japanese star said on the eve of the Paris Grand Slam that she would not hold press conferences to protect her mental health from media pressure.
Osaka will not play the tournament on grass-court in Berlin, Germany, and now her presence at Wimbledon 2021 seems in doubt. But the question goes much deeper than it might appear. These days, Naomi has received both criticism and support from tennis players, former tennis players, media, insideres, fans, icons of the star system.
The question is: Naomi is right or not, but what matters is that she returns to play on the court. The question of interviews is undoubtedly very relevant and Naomi will have to realize whether the choice made before Roland Garro is the right one or not. Tennis players have obligations to respect with tournaments and sponsors, so it is right to be ready to respect these agreements, in order not to risk appearing lost in space and time.
And a champion, an icon like Naomi, now has a lot of power on her side to be able to change things, but there are ways and times to do it. And above all, as in everyday life, there are obligations that anyone is required to respect, however often they can be burdensome.
And Naomi has everything to be able to do everything, channeling her energy, her magnetism and all her power in a constructive way, as already shown in the past.
Naomi Osaka lost in time and space
One of last critics of the Japanese was Brett Favre, former quarterback of the NFL Hall of Fame, on his podcast, Bolling with Favre, talked about the Osaka retirement after being fined for missing a press conference. He highlights in his interview all we said in the paragraphs above.
He said: "We should talk to the media. I'm not saying you have to; you chose to be fined or not. I do think athletes are held to a different level and a different standard, and rightfully so, because of the money we make."
Favre played in the NFL from 1991 to 2010, spending 15 seasons with the Green Bay Packers in the league's smallest media market. Favre attracted media attention as much as any other superstar athlete, but there was one case where Favre refused to give a press conference.
In 1998, after Favre's Packers lost 27-20 to the Detroit Lions, the quarterback was so frustrated that he said he wasn't going to give the post-match conference. But he said he regretted that decision. He said: "They said me: You've got to do it, and I said: I'm not doing it.
I should have done the press conference and just owned up. It was one of those things where I said: If I don't have anything good to say, I'm not saying anything at all, well, go in there and say that! , I was not required.
There was nothing that if I chose not to speak I would be fined, so I chose not to speak and was fined $ 25,000, and then it was written in the rule book after."