Naomi Osaka opened about the support and backlash she received after withdrawing from the French Open in a new essay for TIME Magazine. The article, which was published online on Thursday (July 8), arrives after the 23-year-old declined to speak at a French Open press conference to protect her mental health.
In the essay, Osaka said Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Olympian Michael Phelps, NBA star Steph Curry, Meghan Markle and more reached out to offer their support when she received backlash for the decision. She added that Phelps told her “speaking up” about her struggles with anxiety and depression “may have saved a life.”
“If that’s true, then it was all worth it,” she wrote.
Osaka also clarified that her decision not to speak with press at the tournament was not an issue with the media in general, but the format of press conferences.
“I have always enjoyed an amazing relationship with the media and have given numerous in-depth, one-on-one interviews,” she wrote. “… However, in my opinion… the press conference format itself is out of date and in great need of a refresh. I believe that we can make it better, more interesting and more enjoyable for each side. Less subject vs. object; more peer to peer.”
Osaka also suggested that athletes be allowed a “small number of ‘sick days’ per year,” like is standard in other professions, where they are excused from press duties.
“Athletes are humans. Tennis is our privileged profession, and of course there are commitments off the court that coincide,” she wrote. “But I can’t imagine another profession where a consistent attendance record (I have missed one press conference in my seven years on tour) would be so harshly scrutinized.”
As reported by REVOLT, Osaka was hit with a $15,000 fine from French Open organizers for refusing to speak to the media. The four-time Grand Slam champion also said she felt pressured to publicly disclose her mental health symptoms “because the press and the tournament did not believe me.”
“I do not wish that on anyone and hope that we can enact measures to protect athletes, especially the fragile ones,” she wrote. “… I ask the press for some level of privacy and empathy next time we meet.”
Despite pulling out of the French Open and skipping Wimbledon, Osaka will play tennis at the Tokyo Olympics.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
Take a look inside the Makers Studio presented by Walmart at REVOLT WORLD, a space where Black creators could hone in on their brand and see it come to life.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
Fly Guy DC taps in with REVOLT WORLD attendees to learn what the Opportunity Center, presented by Walmart, means to them and their futures.
In the season finale of “Bet on Black,” special guest judge Ray J joins as the finalists take the main stage to show they have what it takes to win the $200,000 grand prize; Melissa Butler and Eunique Jones Gibson mentor. Presented by Target.
Walmart supports HBCU students and encourages them to be Black & Unlimited. Fly Guy DC talked to a few at REVOLT WORLD about how being an HBCU student has changed their lives.
In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!
Here’s a list of rappers who are named after food. Enjoy — or shall we say, “Bon appetit”?
The artist has remained remarkably consistent in her song lyrics about making money, telling off haters and feeling liberated since her debut.
The next time you’re looking for a caption for your perfectly curated Instagram, there’s a 95 percent chance that Drizzy’s got you!