Naomi Osaka: “I’ve often felt like people have no regard for athletes' mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one. 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.”
Rob Parker: “If I was running the French Open I’d tell her to stay home. I’d tell her to take care of her mental health. You can’t come here and not participate in what we do. Writers come from all over the world to cover the French Open, and they come here for tennis fans. It ain’t about us. I wish these athletes would STOP this attack of the media as if we’re the worst people on earth. You would be afraid to live in this world without the gatekeepers and the people who are watching out for the small man and the little man in this world. This whole notion that it’s so ‘mentally taxing’ to answer a few questions about tennis so your fans know how you feel and what’s going on going into the match. 'OMG, I don’t want to answer the question about how I’m feeling, or how good is my backhand, or how confident I am going in trying to win a major!! OH, IT’S SOOO TAXING!' If she has issues then STAY HOME AND GET WELL. You signed up for this. Go work at the post office and people won’t ask you questions other than ‘how much is a stamp?’ and ‘Can I get an envelope with a stamp on it?’ Can you imagine being at the post office and somebody working there yelling ‘STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS!’ This comes with the job! I can’t take it anymore, REALLY?? It’s that much of a nuisance that you can’t answer a few questions? Come out, answer a few questions, and go on with your life. It’s 10 or 15 minutes of your day.”
Listen to Rob Parker call out four-time major winner Naomi Osaka for refusing to make any media appearances at the 2021 French Open, as the number one women’s tennis player in the world cites ‘mental health’ as a reason for her refusal to do any interviews at this week’s event.
Check out the video above as Parker details why the French Open should just tell her to go home and get better if this event is that taxing to her mental health, saying it’s hard to excuse someone for acting like answering a few questions about tennis every day is such a nuisance and so taxing, and adding that it’s literally her job to be an ambassador for the game.