That much is obvious. I'm guessing you don't follow any sport. I do. Too much, really. Sportspeople often talk about how much they hate doing the media, and all of them would kill to not have to do it, to be able to have a little more time to chill out after a big game. That would undoubtedly give them better physical and mental recuperation, which might make the tiny difference between winning and losing* They also all like to find a wrinkle to make their lives easier and will copy what others are doing if they can get away with it (witness the way referee intimidation mushroomed after one or two teams tried it and didn't get booked in football, for one excellent example). To allow one person not to do the media after the match because of vague reasons (as she gave initially) is to give them a little advantage over their rivals & soon everyone would be using vague & sh.t excuses like she did in her first statement to get out of it.Fishnut wrote: ↑Mon May 31, 2021 9:51 pmI was just coming to share that piece! A few quotes instead,
I've found the reaction to her (at least to me) rather reasonable decision to not subject herself to the press while competing to be very revealing. I don't know anything really about her, don't really follow tennisThe real problem here, it strikes me, is not Osaka or even the impressive self-importance of the written media. Rather, it’s the press conference itself, which when you think about it is quite a weird idea, and one that essentially fails at its central function. The great conceit of the press conference is that it is basically a direct line from the athlete to the public at large, that we humble scribes are but the people’s faithful eyes and ears in the land of the gods.
In case you hadn’t noticed, this hasn’t really been true for a while. Athletes now have their own direct line to the public, and spoiler: it’s not us...
These aren’t elected politicians. These are simply people who have been elevated to prominence by dint of their hand-eye coordination and superior cardiovascular fitness...
We are not the good guys here. We are no longer the power. And one of the world’s best athletes would literally rather quit a grand slam tournament than have to talk to the press. Rather than scrutinising what that says about her, it might be worth asking what that says about us.
*at the top end of sport, the difference really is fractions of a percent. In cycling (to choose a good example which demonstrates this), a stage of the Tour de France might last 4 and a half hours. That's 270 minutes, or 16,200 seconds. If one rider beats a rival by 20 seconds, that's considered a pretty big margin of victory, yet it's 0.12% of the race time.
Osaka's sponsors are not necessarily the same as those of Roland Garros. She can certainly promote her sponsors, but the tournament sponsors would be missing out on the eyeballs. Income the tournament receives from (a) TV, (b) sponsors & (c) ticket sales (in approximately descending order of amount) pays the prizes of all players & is used to fund tournaments at a lower level & the grass roots (or clay undersoil, since it's France) of tennis in France. Essentially, you're saying 'let the rich girl get richer & f.ck the rest'. I know you don't think like that and it's only because you don't have an interest in sport that you don't realise that this is the consequence of your position.
She sees herself as a tennis player. The finances of tennis view her as a reason for people to see images of the sponsors logos. See above for why it is, unfortunately, necessary.
There is a tennis players' union. If they all said they were happy to receive less prize money in return for not having to do the post-game media commitments (because the sponsorship would be less valuable and thus Roland Garros' income would be lower), then I'm sure that if all the hit were taken by the players, the organisers wouldn't mind awfully having one less thing to organise for each match.
Sports journalists (at least the top ones for big papers covering the big events) are a self-important bunch, that's true, but asking Osaka about her relatively poor record on clay (which is something her sister was complaining about) is perfectly reasonable. She's an excellent and hugely successful tennis player. Might she become an all-time great? Maybe, but to do so she'll have to get better on clay, which is one of the 3 surfaces the game is played on. It's quite a different skillset required to to perform well on the slower, grippier clay rather than the fast, bouncy hard courts that she's best on. Some great players can do it, others (merely the very good) can't and have to settle for being the best on one surface rather than all (e.g. Pete Sampras - he was shite on clay, but almost unbeatable on grass in his prime; whereas the likes of Serena, Federer, Nadal & Djokovic (all still playing) are all-surface players, although they all have a preferred surface).
Tennis' popularity has been massively enhanced over the last decade by the way these great champions have gone on and on rising to new challenges. Federer taking years to get his clay game to the point where he could seriously challenge Nadal in Paris & Nadal getting his grass game to the point where he could seriously challenge Federer at Wimbledon. Both of them had significant weaknesses on their great rival's preferred surface and both worked to overcome them, in the process making tennis more popular than ever, including more coverage of the lesser tournaments to see how the Fed was doing in Rome or Nadal at Halle to gauge how they might do in the big tournaments that followed. That, in turn massively raised the TV & sponsorship income and the prize money all round. It also raised the expectations that players would be able to work well on their weaknesses. Obviously depression and anxiety make it difficult to cope with questions about one's weaknesses, and so I understand why she wouldn't want to have to face them; but, if she'd been less vague in her original statement, then I reckon the vast majority of people would have totally sympathised.