Osaka’s Mental Health Is More Important Than Post Match Interviews

The organizers and tennis reporters have it wrong.

The people running the French Open are not going to give any Euros back to customers who were expecting to see Naomi Osaka playing tennis at their tournament. But it sure seems the people behind the tennis event pushed Osaka out because she didn’t want to do post-match interviews. She cited mental health issues and that should have been an acceptable explanation for all involved from the organizers to the people who cover tennis or any sports for that matter. Those interviews are usually worthless as mundane questions are answered by pedestrian statements in a very sterile and generic setting. That is how it is in sports, programmed questions and programmed answers, there are not too many Billie Jean King or John McEnroe or Arthur Ashe types around to give interesting answers. Not everyone is cut out to discuss what they just did in an athletic endeavor, win or lose.

People attend sporting events or watch sporting events on TV or until recently listened to games on the radio because they wanted to be entertained. If people wanted to watch drab news conferences where there really isn’t much said beyond the sterile cliches at an arena or a stadium, they would hang out in a venue and watch it on a video board. But that doesn’t happen. The game sells itself or betting pushes interest in a game. Perhaps the people behind tennis are concerned that reporters covering the sport will whine if a player isn’t available. Naomi Osaka is taking a break, the French Open can treat Osaka like any other player who lost early and went home, the customers accept the deal when they buy the high-priced seats or the luxury boxes. Players once they are used up are tossed aside. But the insistence on inane questions and answers will continue.

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