'It Was A Little Bit Selfish': Osaka Sheds Light On Decision To Skip Press Conferences

'It Was A Little Bit Selfish': Osaka Sheds Light On Decision To Skip Press Conferences

by Sebastian Dahlman

Naomi Osaka was part of a panel at this year's US Open that included legendary Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, and she admitted that she was selfish during the press conference drama.

Osaka created a lot of drama at the 2021 Roland Garros by refusing to speak to the media to protect her mental health. It created a lot of drama for everybody involved as the event promised fines for Osaka for every skipped one while other players were asked questions about it.

Eventually, Osaka decided to remove herself from the equation and withdraw from the event because of it. She spoke about it a few times since then, regretting the choices she made there while still being proud of speaking up about herself.

She's become an advocate for Athlete's mental health, a very overlooked part of sports and the human experience. Public figures like Osaka speaking up about it destigmatize the topic, which is extremely important.

That was one of the motivating factors in taking part at this year's US Open panel alongside fellow athlete Michael Phelps, and she spoke about the Roland Garros experience as well.

Honestly, for me it was a little selfish. I wasn't really thinking too much about everyone else, if we're being 100% honest. I was just thinking about how I feel and how I would like to express myself. At the time, I just felt like I needed to step back.

I do, like, remember in the back of my head I was thinking, like, growing up I was told kind of to tough it out. And I was in my head thinking athletes are supposed to, like, stick it out, and you're actually weak if you show your emotions and things like that. It was like a very big internal battle.

We're all human, and we all have our struggles. Internalizing anything is not a good idea and will backfire eventually, so having Osaka step up and speak about it matters to a lot of people. She's not the only one, of course, and that's a good thing as more speak on topics like these.


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