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Naomi Osaka and Mental Health Reform

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  • Naomi Osaka and Mental Health Reform

    She withdrew from the French Open because she suffers from depression and can't handle the negative questions the press bombards her with. The FO even fined her $15000 for refusing to go to a presser. This brilliantly illustrates the lip service we often give mental health. If it had been a physical problem, everyone would have sympathy, but when it's something like anxiety or depression everyone says 'suck it up!'

    I hope World Tennis takes a lot of grief for this and has to change its ways and other sports catch on.

  • #2
    I suspect she has significant scar tissue from the shitshow that was the 2018 US Open final, especially the disgraceful awards ceremony.
    There are no strings on me

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    • #3
      The over-scrutinization of minority athletes is as old as the days of boxing great Jack Johnson...
      punishing a young woman who admittedly has issues speaking in public will only exasperate her difficulties.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Atticus View Post
        She withdrew from the French Open because she suffers from depression and can't handle the negative questions the press bombards her with. The FO even fined her $15000 for refusing to go to a presser. This brilliantly illustrates the lip service we often give mental health. If it had been a physical problem, everyone would have sympathy, but when it's something like anxiety or depression everyone says 'suck it up!'

        I hope World Tennis takes a lot of grief for this and has to change its ways and other sports catch on.
        I suspect many have feigned physical problems for exactly this reason, both in and out of sports. It's pretty weak to go after someone when they're vulnerable. If you can't support them, at least leave them alone.

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        • #5
          requiring athletes to sit before a bunch of fish hacks and tv loser reports and field inane questions is ludicrous...the athletes should tell the promoters to FO

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SoCal45 View Post
            ..... .the athletes should tell the promoters to FO
            ..... tell the promoters to French Open??

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SoCal45 View Post
              requiring athletes to sit before a bunch of fish hacks and tv loser reports and field inane questions is ludicrous...the athletes should tell the promoters to FO
              When the governing bodies of professional sports organizations negotiate contracts with TV networks and sponsors, media availability of the athletes is part of the deal. Not only is she not the first athlete or coach to hate this part of the job, but practically everyone I know, regardless of occupation, has parts of their job that they detest, but you do it because you want the paychecks. Maybe she should take a page out of Marshawn Lynch's playbook if she hates it that much. Or perhaps she could lead a movement among women tennis players have the WTA renegotiate the contracts to remove this duty from the job if they're willing to take a hit on the bottom line. It's ironic that Billie Jean King fought for the increased media coverage that Osaka despises.
              Last edited by jazzcyclist; 06-02-2021, 01:51 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                She withdrew from the French Open because she suffers from depression and can't handle the negative questions the press bombards her with. The FO even fined her $15000 for refusing to go to a presser. This brilliantly illustrates the lip service we often give mental health. If it had been a physical problem, everyone would have sympathy, but when it's something like anxiety or depression everyone says 'suck it up!'

                I hope World Tennis takes a lot of grief for this and has to change its ways and other sports catch on.
                Terry Bradshaw dealt with depression throughout his NFL career at a time when depression wasn't as understood as well as it is now. What do you think the reaction would have been if he had announced that he was sitting out a Super Bowl to deal with depression? What would be the reaction if a starting Super Bowl quarterback did that today?

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                • #9
                  We've gotten to this sad state of affairs because most people either don't understand or are afraid of dealing with mental health issues. Now is the perfect time to make meaningful reforms in how we deal with it as a culture. Recognizing its debilitating effects and eliminating known triggers wherever we can is a must. If an athlete/celebrity/anyone doesn't want to be interviewed by the press, that's their RIGHT [freedom of non-speech, as it were]. Get rid of the fines now, and then deal with the rules that exacerbate mental health issues.

                  Asking her to suffer through a press conference is NOT a whole lot different than asking her to play on a broken ankle. At least playing on the broken ankle doesn't end the same way suicide often ends the pain of mental illness.
                  Last edited by Atticus; 06-02-2021, 02:51 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Jazzy's once again making too much sense, and that won't be received well.
                    You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

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                    • #11
                      Does anyone enjoy/expect inane, post-competition interviews of often exhausted athletes? Not I.

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                      • #12
                        Maybe the real issue is having good reporters. I really enjoy a good interview with good questions (and that doesn't mean just fluff either). I used to talk to the press a lot in my job before retirement and it takes about 2 seconds to know who wants to provide information and insight and who are just doing destructive gotcha pieces of zero value other than a meaningless headlines. And it seems to be more about the person interviewing than the organization they represent.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by schigh View Post
                          who are just doing destructive gotcha pieces of zero value other than a meaningless headlines.
                          Sleaze sells . . . and unless you actually have some insight and writing talent, trying to elicit some sound bites or dirt is the goal.

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                          • #14
                            I'm guessing there's a time slot an athlete has to fill, seated in the chair? Five minutes might not be too bad, but I'm guessing that the requirement (if there is one) might be 10 or 15 minutes, depending on the event.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DrJay View Post
                              I'm guessing there's a time slot an athlete has to fill, seated in the chair? Five minutes might not be too bad, but I'm guessing that the requirement (if there is one) might be 10 or 15 minutes, depending on the event.
                              It's not the time; it's the nature of the questions. They're looking to get a rise out of the athlete, so they ask things they hope will evoke an emotional response. That line of questioning hurts just the same as if one pokes the broken ankle.
                              But, as I said, most people are not only oblivious to that, they think it's a 'weakness' that the athlete is so 'sensitive'. It's blaming the athlete with a broken ankle for not chasing a wide shot.

                              And to be clear, lots of pro athletes play hurt -Brett Favre was the poster child. He 'sucked it up'. That is not at all akin to a person who has clinical depression or anxiety. Putting them in dire circumstances can result in a dire outcome, as evidenced by her desire to quit the thing she loved, playing in the French Open, all the way to death.

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