Tennis star Naomi Osaka pulled out of the French Open after she was fined for not fulfilling her press obligations during the tournament.
The tennis star claimed the “best thing” for the French Open, the players and her “well-being” would be for her to withdraw from the tournament in a statement shared Monday.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” she wrote.
Osaka announced she would not be participating in press conferences in a statement shared to her Twitter account Wednesday.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 26, 2021
“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,” she shared. (RELATED: Natalie Portman, Serena Williams Team Up To Create Pro Women’s Soccer Team)
Osaka’s refusal to participate in press conferences throughout the tournament landed her a $15,000 fine and a threat of expulsion from the tournament.
Osaka revealed she has suffered depression since she won the U.S. Open back in 2018.
Nike, who has sponsored the tennis star since 2019, backed Osaka in a statement Tuesday.
“Our thoughts are with Naomi,” the statement said, according to CNN. “We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience.”