Over the weekend, Naomi Osaka announced that she was putting her mental health first and would not participate in any press conferences during the French Open. Naomi’s refusal on Sunday caused her to be fined $15,000 after she did not attend the mandatory press conference following her first-round win at the French Open. Today, the highest-paid female athlete officially withdrew from the French Open.
Naomi listed the reasons for walking away on her social media accounts in a very detailed statement. She said she never wanted to be a distraction and that her withdrawal is the best thing. Naomi wrote, “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.” She continued, “I never wanted to be a distraction, and I accept that my timing was not ideal and the message could have been clearer.”
Mental health is extremely important. In the statement, she also revealed that she has previously battled depression and anxiety since winning her first significant title at the 2018 US Open. In the past, Naomi hasn’t had the best interactions with the media and explained furthermore in the statement that speaking to the media often makes her nervous. However, she did apologize to the “cool” journalists whom she may have hurt.
Fans online have shown Naomi support and filled her comments with love both on Instagram and Twitter. Many admired her bravery and putting her mental health first. One tweeted, “Never apologize for putting your mental health first.”
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