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Naomi Osaka stuck to her word about not attending the post-match news conference at the French Open on Sunday, but now she is paying for not honoring media obligations.
Osaka was fined $15,000 by Roland Garros after her first-round victory over 63rd-ranked Patricia Maria Tig on Sunday.
Rolan Garros put out a statement following the match.
“Following the lack of engagement by Naomi Osaka, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open jointly wrote to her to check on her well-being and offer support, underline their commitment to all athletes’ well-being and suggest dialog on the issues. She was also reminded of her obligations, the consequences of not meeting them and that rules should equally apply to all players,” the statement read.
The statement continued: “We individually and collectively have significant resources dedicated to player well-being. In order to continue to improve however, we need engagement from the players to understand their perspective and find ways to improve their experiences. Every year we seek to deliver better experiences to our fans, our players and our people, and we have a long and successful track record in achievement on this count.
“A core element of the Grand Slam regulations is the responsibility of the players to engage with the media, whatever the result of their match, a responsibility which players take for the benefit of the sport, the fans and for themselves. These interactions allow both the players and the media to share their perspective and for the players to tell their story. The facilitation of media to a broad array of channels, both traditional and digital, is a major contributor to the development and growth of our sport and the fan base of individual players.
“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences. … Investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions.”
Last Wednesday, Osaka announced in a Twitter post that she wouldn’t participate in any press conferences during the French Open.
Osaka, the world’s highest-earning female athlete, said that she hoped the “considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.”
“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this [is] very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” Osaka wrote last week. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds, and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”
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