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Naomi Osaka shows ultimate privilege, elitism by refusing to do media events

Naomi Osaka announced on Wednesday that she will refuse to do media events during the French Open this year, a move that reeks of privilege, selfishness, elitism, and poor sportsmanship. Osaka, 23, shared the news in a casual-looking note posted on social media Wednesday. In the note, the current No. 2-ranked woman in the world… Read More

The post Naomi Osaka shows ultimate privilege, elitism by refusing to do media events appeared first on Larry Brown Sports.

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka announced on Wednesday that she will refuse to do media events during the French Open this year, a move that reeks of privilege, selfishness, elitism, and poor sportsmanship.

Osaka, 23, shared the news in a casual-looking note posted on social media Wednesday. In the note, the current No. 2-ranked woman in the world said she would not be doing “any press during Roland Garros.”

Osaka, who has cashed just under $20 million in prize money on tour and has millions of followers on social media, portrayed herself as the victim. She cited the need to protect her mental health as the reason for her decision and said she would pay her way out of any fines she faces.

Osaka seems to think she can use her influence and standing to overpower the WTA and women’s tennis by not cooperating with them.

Like so many young athletes, Osaka seems to not understand how she has obtained the status and money she has that allows her the power to tell the organization that pays her “f— you.” The reason why she has become powerful at 23 by playing tennis is because so many female tennis players over the last several decades worked their rears off to popularize the sport. They met with fans, met with reporters, and withstood all kinds of questions — easy, difficult, fair, unfair — in order to help grow the sport. Now, women’s tennis is extremely popular, and Osaka, who did none of that difficult work, is saying that talking with the media is too much for her to handle, so she’s refusing to do it. That is privilege at its worst.

Osaka also doesn’t realize how unfair this move is for other players and how elitist it is. The media plays a large role in covering sports leagues, teams and athletes by serving as a conduit to the fans. They play a role in growing games and maintaining popularity of sports. Osaka is saying she does not want to participate in that and do her part. Instead, she’s leaving it to all the other women to pick up the slack because she doesn’t want to answer questions. Worse, she’s spitting in the face of all the lower-ranked players who are grinding to make a living at the sport. Those women surely don’t enjoy answering media questions after they lose, but they can’t afford to pay their ways out of the reporter questions.

Osaka has always seemed to enjoy postmatch interviews following her wins and use that to promote herself and her causes. Not wanting to answer questions after a difficult loss is a sign of being a poor sport, which is something we saw two years ago.

Osaka does not understand the purpose served by press conferences after losses. Here’s what it serves: they give insight to fans into the character of athletes. Those who run and avoid the difficult questions tend to end up less respected by fans. Those who stand up and answer the tough questions and credit their opponents are respected for their character.

What kind of character do you have, Naomi?

The post Naomi Osaka shows ultimate privilege, elitism by refusing to do media events appeared first on Larry Brown Sports.

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