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Naomi Osaka and Mental Health Reform

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  • NotDutra5
    replied
    ....and speaking to the press as a promotion of the sport the athletes pay is part of their job as per the contract the players sign which allows them to get paid. A player choosing not to abide by that has plenty of choices to get a game in. However they may not like the size of the paycheck they receive from the local tennis club.

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  • jc203
    replied
    Comparing Terry Bradshaw sitting out a super bowl with Osaka withdrawing from a major tourney is a ludicrous comparison.
    Anyway, NFL players and coaches with emotional issues regularly misbehave in post-game settings with ugly, combative reactions or walk-outs. Maybe they get fined or maybe not but generally their uncivil conduct simply enhances their reputations as hard guys who brook no nonsense from the press.
    Osaka simply opted not to speak and when fined opted not to play, and in each instance published a thoughtful explanation.
    Seems to me that the ruling elite of pro tennis administration have played a losing hand in coming down hard on popular, attractive, intelligent, very talented bi-national young woman of color.
    Speaking or not speaking to the press ought to be a personal choice, not a mandate from a business enterprise whose motivation is purely economic.

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  • bambam1729
    replied
    And let it be noted that after her first (and only) match Osaka was not too depressed, nor too worried about her mental health, to not do the interview with the Japanese broadcasting service, with which she has a contract that pays her for those interviews.

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  • NotDutra5
    replied
    The only questionable thing about Osaka was why she waited until the event started prior to making an issue of it....of which I thought the tournament responded to poorly. I assume she signs a contract which has the media requirements are outlined. She has acknowledged this to a degree.

    Post game/match interviews have been a staple of sports since the days the only way getting any summation of a sports event was by reading about it the next day in the newspapers. It's part of the game and part of the publicity the sports need to generate interest. The questions are inane and I don't like any interviews with active players in nearly any sport since they will be loath to say anything inflammatory. Ex-players are much better at saying more interesting things. Complaining about them sounds like yet another in a series of old guys yelling at clouds response to too many situations.

    Hopefully anyone who needs assistance with any emotional issues gets that assistance and, in this case, I'm only referring to the players.

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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
    Does anyone enjoy/expect inane, post-competition interviews of often exhausted athletes? Not I.
    I usually have no interest in these interviews unless the person doing the interview is a character like Muhammad Ali or Charles Barkley or someone who pulls off a historic upset.
    Last edited by jazzcyclist; 06-02-2021, 07:24 PM.

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  • TN1965
    replied
    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
    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.
    And of course, post match interview could be bad for a player's ankle.

    Petra Kvitova withdraws from French Open; injured ankle in fall during media availability (espn.com)

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  • Atticus
    replied
    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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  • DrJay
    replied
    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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  • Atticus
    replied
    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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  • schigh
    replied
    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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  • lonewolf
    replied
    Does anyone enjoy/expect inane, post-competition interviews of often exhausted athletes? Not I.

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  • scottmitchell74
    replied
    Jazzy's once again making too much sense, and that won't be received well.

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  • Atticus
    replied
    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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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    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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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    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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