Calm, a meditation and sleep app, has pledged to cover the fines for Grand Slam players like Naomi Osaka who have chosen to opt out of interviews for mental health reasons.
Calm took to Twitter to announce their decision to cover the fees after Osaka acquired a $15,000 fine for declining to answer questions from reporters following her May 30 match against Patricia Maria Tig. “Mental health is health,” Calm tweeted. “To support Naomi Osaka’s decision to prioritize her mental health, Calm is donating $15,000 to @LaureusSport in France, an organization doing incredible work in the mental health space to transform the lives of young people through the power of sport.”
“But this is bigger than any individual player,” the meditation app continued. “Calm will also pay the fine for players opting out of 2021 Grand Slam media appearances for mental health reasons, and we will match the fine with a $15,000 donation to @LaureusSport. #MentalHealthIsHealth.”
Earlier this week, Osaka announced her decision to drop out of the French Open after organizers threatened to expel her from the tournament if she continued to avoid the media. “I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” she wrote on Instagram.
Since her announcement, many celebrities have shared their support for her decision. During a post-match media conference, Serena Williams said that she wanted to give Osaka a hug. “The only thing I feel is that I feel for Naomi,” the tennis legend said. “I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like. Like I said, I’ve been in those positions.”
Check out Calm’s tweets below.