On the eve of Roland Garros 2021, Japanese Naomi Osaka wanted to reveal the reasons why she will not give any interviews during the Parisian Slam. She said: “Journalists don’t respect our mental health. People don’t respect athletes’ mental health, they always ask the same questions, issues that fuel doubts in our minds, I don’t want to deal with people who doubt me.
I have seen many athletes who fall down after a defeat in the press room. It seems to me that this situation means raging on a person who is already in difficulty and I do not understand why. personal against the tournament. If the organizers say to me: Have a press conference or get fined, I’ll have a big laugh. I hope the money goes to a mental health charity.”
Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek responded, in their press conferences before the tournament, to the silence that the Japanese has imposed on herself.
Rafa and Iga’s words on Osaka’s decision
Rafa said: “Obviously I respect your choice. I respect you as an athlete and as a person. We as athletes have to be ready to accept questions and try to give an answer. I understand it, but on the other hand I believe that without the press, without the people who usually travel, writing the news and the results we get around the world, probably wouldn’t be the athletes we are today. We wouldn’t be recognized that way in the world and we wouldn’t have this popularity. So I understand that, but I think very important media in my point of view.”
Swiatek added: “I think it’s part of our job. You know, not having so many media obligations, that’s fine, but I think it’s important to have people around you who will become a kind of wall that separates you from hatred or something of the genre. It’s nice to be aware of that, but we’re in the spotlight and everyone is watching us. It can be difficult, but with the right support, with the right distance and with balance it’s part of our job.
I feel that the media are also very important because we they give a platform to talk about our lives from our perspective. It is important because not everyone is professional athlete and not everyone knows what we are dealing with. It is good to talk about it. We have two ways to do this: media and social media. It is good to use both these platforms because as I said, not everyone knows what our perspective is and so we have the opportunity to explain. It’s a good thing.”