Fan’s Voice: To Speak or Not to Speak?

Fan’s Voice: To Speak or Not to Speak?

You’re probably aware of the recent controversy involving tennis superstar Naomi Osaka. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion recently withdrew from the French Open after being fined $15,000 for not fulfilling her mandatory media interviews. The tournament organizers had also threatened Osaka with additional fines and even expulsion from the tournament.

Osaka cited mental health issues for not wanting to talk to the media, saying, “The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018, and I have had a really hard time coping with that. So here in Paris, I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious, so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences.”

Many have come to Osaka’s defense, insisting that one’s well being is more important than appearing at press conferences. A few observers, however, point out that the media play a key role in both growing the sport and helping athletes like Osaka attain stardom in the first place.

We’d love your thoughts on the Naomi Osaka controversy. Do you think the popular tennis star should have to fulfill any media obligations required of her during tennis tournaments? Should she be able to be excused from these media interviews? Is there a compromise that might work for all parties involved?

Join our ongoing discussion at our ESPN Honolulu Facebook page. Click HERE.

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