Naomi Osaka refusing post match interviews at French Open ...

91Joe95

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No, instead the French Open tweeted pics of other players at media events and said ‘They knew the assignment.’ So, yeah - they would rather get into a public pissing match with her than figure something out. That tweet has since been deleted.

Yeah, I don't understand the tournament getting all pissy. She met her contractual obligations. Getting into the weeds of why she's not doing the interviews doesn't help them. IMHO they needed to work with the rest of the players to quietly focus on getting the penalty structure changed after the tournament was over. Getting into fights with the "product" seems a bit counterproductive to me.
 

psu00

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The penalty for skipping the press conference.
The penalty was up to $20,000 fine for that 1 offense. There are penalties for repeat offenders (saying you won’t do any in the future). Those penalties are in the aggregated behavior section and include penalties up to exclusion from Grand Slam tournaments. No rule was changed for her.
 
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colt21

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Without the media they don't have a sport that earns players millions.

It is that simple.

She can play tennis at home and have no media.

Want to play and earn millions? Well the media pays for that.

She withdrew. I am glad the pressure was put on her to do so.

Her personal issues aside this becomes a big problem when all the multi millionaires decide 15k isnt worth the work and then the sport dies quickly.

LdN
Don’t quite agree
Without the TV contracts they don’t make millions but the “media” - the stupid press conferences right after games, the dumb questions, the battles over who goes in the locker rooms - really that’s all necessary?!

it’s a fig Newton of the media’s imagination that they are that important !!
 
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91Joe95

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What rules did they change for her?

She didn't try to circumvent the fine structure. The tournaments tried to up the ante, and even said she wouldn't be allowed to compete. The rules don't say anything about that. The ITF, as I understand it, is kind of like a quasi union for the players. That's where the tournaments should have quietly focused their efforts. Instead the best player isn't in their tournament. That seems like a pretty bad tradeoff for a couple of uncompensated media interviews. It's not like the tournaments couldn't point to the fines to show they were trying. They could have let the problem be between the player and any perceived fued with the media. Instead they made the problem between themselves and the player.
 
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91Joe95

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The penalty was up to $20,000 fine for that 1 offense. There are penalties for repeat offenders (saying you won’t do any in the future). Those penalties are in the aggregated behavior section and include penalties up to exclusion from Grand Slam tournaments. No rule was changed for her.

Then I will stand corrected on their ability to ban someone. I still say it wasn't a fight worth having from their perspective. They had better options.
 

Midnighter2

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Yeah, I don't understand the tournament getting all pissy. She met her contractual obligations. Getting into the weeds of why she's not doing the interviews doesn't help them. IMHO they needed to work with the rest of the players to quietly focus on getting the penalty structure changed after the tournament was over. Getting into fights with the "product" seems a bit counterproductive to me.

Not a good look...

 
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lein

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Without the media they don't have a sport that earns players millions.

It is that simple.

She can play tennis at home and have no media.

Want to play and earn millions? Well the media pays for that.

She withdrew. I am glad the pressure was put on her to do so.

Her personal issues aside this becomes a big problem when all the multi millionaires decide 15k isnt worth the work and then the sport dies quickly.

LdN

without an audience, there would be no media.

I’d suggest the play on the court is what attracts an audience, not some Dave Jones type asking lame “how does it feel” questions after the match.
 

psu00

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She didn't try to circumvent the fine structure. The tournaments tried to up the ante, and even said she wouldn't be allowed to compete. The rules don't say anything about that. The ITF, as I understand it, is kind of like a quasi union for the players. That's where the tournaments should have quietly focused their efforts. Instead the best player isn't in their tournament. That seems like a pretty bad tradeoff for a couple of uncompensated media interviews. It's not like the tournaments couldn't point to the fines to show they were trying. They could have let the problem be between the player and any perceived fued with the media. Instead they made the problem between themselves and the player.
Well, respectfully, she didn’t try to work with them either. She simply announced the rules were not going to apply to her in the French Open and in the future- Wimbledon in a few weeks then the US Open. Both sides then dug in for the battle.

The aggregated bevavior section of the rules allow for penalties including removal from Grand Slam tournaments. This was well known to her and most tennis fans who have followed the exploits of Aussie Nick Kyrgios the last few years.

Article 4, section A-

.....“Violation of this Section by a player, directly or indirectly through a Related Person or others, shall subject a player to a fine of up to $250,000 or the amount of prize money won at the tournament, whichever is greater, and a maximum penalty of permanent suspension from play in all Grand Slam Tournaments.”....
 
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AvgUser

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Don’t quite agree
Without the TV contracts they don’t make millions but the “media” - the stupid press conferences right after games, the dumb questions, the battles over who goes in the locker rooms - really that’s all necessary?!

it’s a fig Newton of the media’s imagination that they are that important !!
It’s not the media that (necessarily) think they are important. We fans who read the media coverage are the ones that desire the quotes, quips, comments, observations and discussion. As another said above, what if CJF skipped the press conferences? What if TV quarterbacks never happened?
 

DELion

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If she is struggling with depression so bad that she can't field a few questions from reporters, she has no business playing in these tournaments. She should take time off from the sport and deal with her issues or move on. When you refuse to meet contractual obligations, you are going to pay a hefty price. If she had not withdrawn, she absolutely should have been expelled. Just because you are a top player does not entitle you to special treatment. She thought she could get away with it but obviously made a bad miscalculation.
 
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colt21

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It’s not the media that (necessarily) think they are important. We fans who read the media coverage are the ones that desire the quotes, quips, comments, observations and discussion. As another said above, what if CJF skipped the press conferences? What if TV quarterbacks never happened?
Honestly I don’t really care - and here’s why

1) the media asks stupid questions - both strategically and socially if you will.

2) the coaches do all they can to NOT answer the questions AND not slip up and say something stupid themselves

AND

3) Name me one actual REAL bit of information that WE ever got from one of these press conferences - I would submit that there has not been one single solitary solid piece of information that we’ve ever got from one of them - any of them from any sport at any time
 

lein

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It isn't lack of empathy. It is part of her job. If I told my employer, I don't like this aspect of my job that is in my job description or it is creating stress and negatively impacted my mental health so I can't do it, rest assured it would be deemed that I cannot perform in that position, which is true. I am saying that. Certain accommodations may be provided such as as counselling services, but inevitably I would be placed in another position. In effect, she is saying that she cannot fulfill her contractual obligations on the professional tennis tour. So, maybe she needs a break to care of yourself rather than having the stress of talking to the media after losing a tennis match.

So, how about Franklin saying that he is no longer going to talk to the media after a loss because it negatively impacts his mental health. Is that okay?


will this work for you?

 

psu00

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Then I will stand corrected on their ability to ban someone. I still say it wasn't a fight worth having from their perspective. They had better options.
I agree this wasn’t handled well on all sides. It started with her social media posts. I think the Slams then went nuclear wanting to end this now rather than allow it to fester and then have other players (men’s and women’s) say ‘well if she doesn’t have to then neither do I’.

It’s a condensed time of the year since the French Open was allowed to push their tournament back into June. Once Roland Garros ends then Wimbledon starts 2 weeks later in late June followed by the US Open in late August. If this happened in February maybe cooler heads would have prevailed.

That said, I think both sides will back down a bit and try to work something out in the next few days. Hopefully.
 
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RGWhirly

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Yeah, I don't understand the tournament getting all pissy. She met her contractual obligations. Getting into the weeds of why she's not doing the interviews doesn't help them. IMHO they needed to work with the rest of the players to quietly focus on getting the penalty structure changed after the tournament was over. Getting into fights with the "product" seems a bit counterproductive to me.
That’s the F N French for you.
 
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TangSoo

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She has panic attacks when she has to speak in front of people in certain scenarios. Did you ever see her after winning a major?

I am not sure she is just being a brat or anything.
Serious question. Has that happened with all of the Majors she's won, or just the one that Serena hijacked?
 

pa108

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Without the media they don't have a sport that earns players millions.

It is that simple.

She can play tennis at home and have no media.

Want to play and earn millions? Well the media pays for that.

She withdrew. I am glad the pressure was put on her to do so.

Her personal issues aside this becomes a big problem when all the multi millionaires decide 15k isnt worth the work and then the sport dies quic
LdProfessional athletes. Tennis players, football players, etc thinks
Professional athletes--tennis players, football players, etc-- think that they are paid millions for excellence at their sport. And that everything else ( media, public relations) is incidental. That's wrong.

They are entertainers.

They are paid by the viewing public. So they better engage with their bosses.
 

RGWhirly

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I think I saw someone else mention it. Would not be surprised if she decides to sit out several of upcoming majors this season.
 

Obliviax

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Professional athletes--tennis players, football players, etc-- think that they are paid millions for excellence at their sport. And that everything else ( media, public relations) is incidental. That's wrong.

They are entertainers.

They are paid by the viewing public. So they better engage with their bosses.
I agree..but if that is true, and to what extent it is true, is self-correcting. She has a responsibility to the game and to her profession. If that obligation isn't fulfilled, there will be blowback.

While watching the PGA a commentator said something like "I'll bet Phil would have won twice as many events if not for Tiger." The other retorted, "maybe, but he wouldn't have made more money."

to me, this is the media having a hissy fit. they turn on anyone that doesn't kiss their collective asses.
 

NittPicker

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So I finally decided to look at Osaka's history in the French Open. She's never made it past the third round. Maybe she decided she's going to make an early exit anyway so it may as well be on her terms. Her major tournament victories have all been on hard courts. I look for her to skip Wimbledon and return for the U.S. Open. The "woe is me" angle seems like an excuse. At least now she has some former players and media on her side who are saying we should feel sympathy for her.

I recall Ivan Lendl skipping Wimbledon in 1982. It was early in his career and he was a hard server who was tough on hard courts but playing on grass didn't suit him. A reporter caught up to him while he was playing golf and asked why he was skipping Wimbledon. He said it was because he was allergic to grass. Seriously. While playing golf. To his credit he worked on his game but he never won Wimbledon, although he did make some finals and semi finals.
 

Midnighter2

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So I finally decided to look at Osaka's history in the French Open. She's never made it past the third round. Maybe she decided she's going to make an early exit anyway so it may as well be on her terms. Her major tournament victories have all been on hard courts. I look for her to skip Wimbledon and return for the U.S. Open. The "woe is me" angle seems like an excuse. At least now she has some former players and media on her side who are saying we should feel sympathy for her.

I recall Ivan Lendl skipping Wimbledon in 1982. It was early in his career and he was a hard server who was tough on hard courts but playing on grass didn't suit him. A reported caught up to him while he was playing golf and asked why he was skipping Wimbledon. He said it was because he was allergic to grass. Seriously. While playing golf. To his credit he worked on his game but he never won Wimbledon, although he did make some finals and semi finals.

Osaka is young and likely a favorite to win the FO this year. It's definitely the most difficult to win (unless your name is Nadal) but I don't think her exit was at all related to her chances of winning. It was making a statement (for better or worse). Agassi dodged Wimbledon for years because he didn't want to wear all white, or the grass wasn't suited to his baseline game, or whatever. Most likely he was lazy and/or just wanted to prep for the US Open (or spend time with his girlfriend, or whatever). Then he wins his first GS at Wimbledon. You never know.
 

Lion84

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This isn't directed at Osaka specifically since it seems she has some personal issue she is dealing with but Pro Athletes and Actors etc - they usually make more money off endorsements and use the media to increase their visibility but then turn around and complain about intrusions on their privacy - tough to have it both ways.
 

lurkerlion

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Osaka claims to have a disability. She is able to overcome the disability to play the SPORT. The disability prevents her from fully participating in the BUSINESS.

ADA require reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. Dumb analogy I guess but is pro tennis a sport, entertainment, or a business. Obviously it is all three but I try to ignore the latter two in all sports. That explains why I have lost so much interest as the emphasis has changed.

my son can quote all the salaries, cap numbers and betting lines. I don’t care. I guess he is the target audience, not me. Storylines and controversies are more important than who has the best serve. McEnroe is the gold standard but at least he was all natural and not invented by the media.
 

GreggK

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Osaka claims to have a disability. She is able to overcome the disability to play the SPORT. The disability prevents her from fully participating in the BUSINESS.

ADA require reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. Dumb analogy I guess but is pro tennis a sport, entertainment, or a business. Obviously it is all three but I try to ignore the latter two in all sports. That explains why I have lost so much interest as the emphasis has changed.

my son can quote all the salaries, cap numbers and betting lines. I don’t care. I guess he is the target audience, not me. Storylines and controversies are more important than who has the best serve. McEnroe is the gold standard but at least he was all natural and not invented by the media.

I am sort of with you here. It's like when you watch ESPN, they need to tell you the backstory of every player and every single struggle they ever had. Its not that I don't care, but, I sort of don't care, I am here for the game.

I think people who are equating the idea of being in the spot light of the tennis court and being asked questions in front of the press as being one in the same have never played a sport at a higher level. I played div 1 college football and while that may or may not be a "high level" the point is, when I was on the field, you sort of have one focus. The spectators don't matter, that all melts away. It is you and your opponent. I have also spoken at media events with more than 500 people and take questions. I HATED it and will avoid it at all costs. It's two very different skill sets and some people have both, and some just one. I really don't care if athletes I watch can talk and take questions.
 
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Aardvark86

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Here's the thing. One really shouldn't quibble with mental illness - you can no more will it away than you can a broken leg. Lots of bad tactics to go around here - for someone who is an elite athlete and presumably has an agent to help with these things, her blindsiding of the FO was crap; likewise, the FO's calling out and threatening her in the twitterverse was classically idiotic french shaming.

But as I've said before, whether it's this, or the NBA, or other sports, there definitely seems to be an emerging tone deafness among athletes regarding who their ultimate customer is. Professional events do not exist for them. And broadcasters and advertisers don't just magically provide money because they like sports, they do it because they think they can sell things to those very same consumers.
 
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MtNittany

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Greg Norman on the 1996 Masters post-tournament press conference:

When it was over—I shot 78 and Nick shot 67 and won by five—he approached me and said, “I just want to give you a hug.” We each wrapped our arms around the other. He then said, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” He was referring to what I was about to endure, the loser’s press conference. At that moment, I couldn’t have felt closer to him. I recognized, almost immediately, that we were handling victory and defeat just as Jack Nicklaus had done so many times, with class and dignity. As true sportsmen. We were putting golf first.

I went to the press room and answered every question as honestly as I could. When I next played, it was at Jack’s tournament, the Memorial, and I told reporters about the more than 7,500 handwritten letters I had already received. They all pretty much said the same thing: You honored the game on that Sunday, you taught all parents and future athletes about sportsmanship.
 

Midnighter2

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This isn't directed at Osaka specifically since it seems she has some personal issue she is dealing with but Pro Athletes and Actors etc - they usually make more money off endorsements and use the media to increase their visibility but then turn around and complain about intrusions on their privacy - tough to have it both ways.

I think it depends - if press conferences were exclusively about the match just played, I don't think she would have an issue. It's all the questions about rivalry (with Serena), the statements she makes with her masks, who her boyfriend is, etc. I used to love watching Agassi in a press conference - would make the press look like idiots, but would also give really good insight into his strategy/thought process. He was very good about remembering specific points at specific times in the match and as a fan, it was really interesting to hear his insights.
 
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Erial_Lion

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But as I've said before, whether it's this, or the NBA, or other sports, there definitely seems to be an emerging tone deafness among athletes regarding who their ultimate customer is. Professional events do not exist for them. And broadcasters and advertisers don't just magically provide money because they like sports, they do it because they think they can sell things to those very same consumers.
I’m their target audience, and I’m watching for the tennis, not for the talking. I’d much rather watch Osaka play today and bail on the post-match press conference, than not play. If anything, the Osaka controversy brought more eyeballs to the tournament.
 

PSUriseANDfire

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Most post game pressers are afterthoughts. Especially early rounds in long tournaments.
.
The Super Bowl/NBA Finals/World Series stuff can be fun..

Bobby Knight and Mike Leach types are rare.

They could outdo certain games.
 

Aardvark86

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I’m their target audience, and I’m watching for the tennis, not for the talking. I’d much rather watch Osaka play today and bail on the post-match press conference, than not play. If anything, the Osaka controversy brought more eyeballs to the tournament.
short term effect.
 

ouirpsu

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ouirpsu

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If she is struggling with depression so bad that she can't field a few questions from reporters, she has no business playing in these tournaments. She should take time off from the sport and deal with her issues or move on. When you refuse to meet contractual obligations, you are going to pay a hefty price. If she had not withdrawn, she absolutely should have been expelled. Just because you are a top player does not entitle you to special treatment. She thought she could get away with it but obviously made a bad miscalculation.
1950 called. It wants it's antiquated thinking about mental illness back.
 

ouirpsu

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I am sort of with you here. It's like when you watch ESPN, they need to tell you the backstory of every player and every single struggle they ever had. Its not that I don't care, but, I sort of don't care, I am here for the game.

I think people who are equating the idea of being in the spot light of the tennis court and being asked questions in front of the press as being one in the same have never played a sport at a higher level. I played div 1 college football and while that may or may not be a "high level" the point is, when I was on the field, you sort of have one focus. The spectators don't matter, that all melts away. It is you and your opponent. I have also spoken at media events with more than 500 people and take questions. I HATED it and will avoid it at all costs. It's two very different skill sets and some people have both, and some just one. I really don't care if athletes I watch can talk and take questions.
Exactly! Having a cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disability and being awesome in a sport are not mutually exclusive.
 

Midnighter2

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In the realm of strategic PR blunders, the FO doubling down on harassing a player admittedly struggling with mental health issues is maybe second to Penn State's handling of Sandusky. Instead of making an exception for Osaka and working with her to get to an agreeable solution, they sent harassing tweets and got the other GS events to threaten her with expulsion as well.

Wonder what the President of the French Tennis Federation thinks...

French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton read a prepared statement on Monday offering Osaka their support but the irony of him not taking questions afterwards was not lost on some.

"So the FFT handled the Ms Osaka mental health concerns without empathy or sensitivity. Then the FFT President refuses to take questions at a presser. An own goal," wrote former Australian tennis official Richard Ings.
 

RGWhirly

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In the realm of strategic PR blunders, the FO doubling down on harassing a player admittedly struggling with mental health issues is maybe second to Penn State's handling of Sandusky. Instead of making an exception for Osaka and working with her to get to an agreeable solution, they sent harassing tweets and got the other GS events to threaten her with expulsion as well.

Wonder what the President of the French Tennis Federation thinks...

French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton read a prepared statement on Monday offering Osaka their support but the irony of him not taking questions afterwards was not lost on some.

"So the FFT handled the Ms Osaka mental health concerns without empathy or sensitivity. Then the FFT President refuses to take questions at a presser. An own goal," wrote former Australian tennis official Richard Ings.
Lol. Talking about a F up.
 

bvillebaron

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Here's the thing. One really shouldn't quibble with mental illness - you can no more will it away than you can a broken leg. Lots of bad tactics to go around here - for someone who is an elite athlete and presumably has an agent to help with these things, her blindsiding of the FO was crap; likewise, the FO's calling out and threatening her in the twitterverse was classically idiotic french shaming.

But as I've said before, whether it's this, or the NBA, or other sports, there definitely seems to be an emerging tone deafness among athletes regarding who their ultimate customer is. Professional events do not exist for them. And broadcasters and advertisers don't just magically provide money because they like sports, they do it because they think they can sell things to those very same consumers.
When did her mental illness make it unbearable to field questions from the media? Apparently she had no difficulty taking with the media previously when she was discussing her support for BLM and “social justice” issues.
 
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Midnighter2

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Tennis officials are not going to win this one over her in the end.

The FO should know better; two of her biggest sponsors are Tag Heuer and Louis Vuitton - both owned by French luxury brand conglomerate LVMH.