Naomi Osaka has broken her silence after receiving a $15,000 fine for refusing to take part in 2021 French Open press events.
The Japanese tennis ace cited mental health concerns as the reasoning behind her decision, which saw tournament organizers at Roland Garros slap her with the fine and warn higher fees, plus a possible suspension, could be issued.
But Naomi, who dates rap star Cordae, is standing her ground, taking to Twitter after her winning match against Romanian star Patricia Maria Tig on Sunday (May 30) to hit out at the “lack of understanding” from organizers.
She penned: “Anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable.”
Announcing her decision not to engage with press, Naomi said in a statement last week: “I’ve often felt that 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.”
And in an email to organizers she insisted her actions are “100 per cent nothing against the French Open or even the press members themselves.”
This stance is against the system requiring athletes to be forced to do press on occasions when they are suffering from mental health,” she added.
“I believe it is archaic and in need of reform. After this tournament I want to work with the Tours and the governing bodies to figure out how we best compromise to change the system.”
However, that wasn’t enough to stop officials taking aim at the star in a since-deleted tweet, sharing a post on Saturday with four photos of other players meeting with reporters at the tournament.
In the caption, they penned: “They understood the assignment.”
Naomi‘s next match during the French Open will take place on Wednesday against Romanian tennis player Ana Bogdan.