So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

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So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

The only reason I watch sport
0
No votes
The main reason, so I'll only watch the really big matches if I don't get to see the interviews
0
No votes
I enjoy them, but they aren't essential to my viewing
3
6%
I sometimes watch the interviews
11
23%
I'll watch the interviews if I see that they cried, or their head exploded
3
6%
I have no interest in their thoughts
30
64%
 
Total votes: 47

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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by tom p » Mon May 31, 2021 6:06 pm

bolo wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 5:59 pm
tom p wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 5:35 pm
bolo wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 5:04 pm
Unless I misunderstand, she is not an employee, being dictated to by her employer. She is an individual who chose to enter a particular tennis tournament, presumably under the terms and conditions of that tournament, and who now doesn't want to comply with those terms and conditions. The alternative isn't finding another career. It's skipping the French Open and playing in other tennis tournaments, of which there are lots.
Well, yes and no. All the big tournaments have media obligations, so if she wants to earn the big bucks, then she can't find another one, unless someone so wants her to participate that they will waive the media obligations.
Fair enough, though so far, at least, her statement as posted by Fishnut only says "I'm not going to do any press during Roland Garros".

Also, if they fine her but don't ban her, she can just chalk up $15k per tournament as another cost of doing business. According to Wikipedia, she earned $37 million last year, so $15k is a drop in the bucket.
it's 15k for a 1st offence. they have said they will ban her if she keeps it up & she might be banned from the other 3 majors too.

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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by tom p » Mon May 31, 2021 6:07 pm

dyqik wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 5:43 pm
tom p wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 3:23 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 1:58 pm
The press conference format with multiple journalists asking single isolated questions designed to get themselves an angle isn't essential to media access, even directly after the event.

Note how F1 does the straight after the race interviews now - questions from a single interviewer, who usually is an ex-F1 driver who now does media. This is also how the final at Wimbledon has done things for a while, IIRC.

That could be followed up with different formats for access to multiple outlets in a much less pressured way.
Yeah, but there's 1 F1 race every fortnight. During a slam fortnight there are 254 singles matches (almost nobody cares about doubles).
I don't think the F1/after the wimbledon final model is really workable.
I don't think they have press conferences for all those matches either though (maybe a mass press conference with various players shuffling through?). I'm sure there are other formats available.

The press conference format with lots of journalists taking turns to ask single questions of someone stuck in front of them is a fairly tired format. It's kind of useful for politicians, although not so great there even.
I agree there, but every hack wants a chance to have their question, and in return they even cover the boring first week.

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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Fishnut » Mon May 31, 2021 7:03 pm

She's withdrawn
Hey everyone, this isn't a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that. Anyone who knows me knows I'm introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I'm often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety. Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world's media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can. So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences. I anounced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that. I wrote privately to the tournament apologizing and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the Slams are intense. I'm gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans. Anyways hope you are all doing well and staying safe, love you guys I'll see you when I see you.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by tom p » Mon May 31, 2021 7:33 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 7:03 pm
She's withdrawn
Hey everyone, this isn't a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that. Anyone who knows me knows I'm introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I'm often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety. Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world's media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can. So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences. I anounced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that. I wrote privately to the tournament apologizing and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the Slams are intense. I'm gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans. Anyways hope you are all doing well and staying safe, love you guys I'll see you when I see you.
Well why didn't she just say that in the first place? I wonder if a frank and honest statement (either to the public or the organisers), rather than one filled with really sh.t arguments, might have seen the organisers be rather more sympathetic.
I hope she's able to focus on her health and feels better soon.

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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon May 31, 2021 7:37 pm

Not everyone wants to broadcast the details of their ongoing mental health challenges.

Plus, of course, social anxiety related to talking to the press might influence how somebody composes public statements.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Fishnut » Mon May 31, 2021 7:39 pm

tom p wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 7:33 pm
Well why didn't she just say that in the first place?
Maybe because talking about depression and anxiety is really f.cking hard.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Gfamily » Mon May 31, 2021 9:47 pm

On Monday night, after being fined and threatened with expulsion, Osaka quit the tournament altogether. Meanwhile her stance has been universally scorned by the print media, who as we know have traditionally been the best people to judge standards of behaviour. An “uppity princess”, one newspaper columnist wrote. Others have more soberly pointed out that for any athlete, facing the media is simply part of the job, and that by seceding from the process entirely Osaka is setting a “dangerous precedent”.
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/ ... onferences
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Fishnut » Mon May 31, 2021 9:51 pm

I was just coming to share that piece! A few quotes instead,
The 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.
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 tennis, but when a young woman talks about people who "ignore the mental health of the athletes" and announce that she's not partaking in interviews as a result, it really doesn't seem that difficult to draw the conclusion that she's taking about her own mental health as well as that of others.

As the article points out, sportspeople have many avenues of promoting themselves, taking to their fans, spreading the word about their sponsors, without needing to subject themselves to inane or intrusive questioning from journalists. I suspect that part of the vitriolic reaction of the press to her decision is that they know this to be true and are scared. Why non-journalists find it so objectionable I really don't know.

I'd also point out that the "if she can't take this completely unnecessary aspect of the job then she should just leave" is a sentiment many women in many careers have faced over many decades. She is excellent at her job - she's no 2 in the world ffs! - why should she leave just because sports journalists can't find their own humanity?
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Fishnut » Mon May 31, 2021 9:58 pm

Oh, and irony of ironies,
Screenshot 2021-05-31 at 22.57.33.png
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Vertigowooyay » Mon May 31, 2021 10:23 pm

Christ, what *could* it be about Meghan Markle and Naomi Osaka that makes Piers Morgan jump out of his chair to damn them for having agency and opinions?
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by lpm » Mon May 31, 2021 10:27 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 9:51 pm
I'd also point out that the "if she can't take this completely unnecessary aspect of the job then she should just leave" is a sentiment many women in many careers have faced over many decades. She is excellent at her job - she's no 2 in the world ffs! - why should she leave just because sports journalists can't find their own humanity?
There's no point in pretending she's is just any job. She has $35 million a year problems, women in other jobs have £18,000 a year problems.

She employs a general tennis coach, specialist coach for just her serve, personal assistants, sports psychologists, nutritionist, business manager, fitness coach, sports injury specialist, chef, pilot, security, accountant, investment advisors and some experts in pharmaceuticals. Don't invent silly comparisons to other women - it's absurd to link it in any way to, for example, someone working in a call centre who is forced to put up with routine crap and is powerless to push back.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Gfamily » Mon May 31, 2021 10:42 pm

f.cking hell - is this really turning into a "what has she got to be depressed about" thing?

What is wrong with people?
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by lpm » Mon May 31, 2021 10:49 pm

No it isn't turning into that. The point is about power - she has masses of it. And the other point is that this is not a feminist issue - it is offensive to imply women's mental health is weaker, that women's sports elite need special protection, or that she is suffering like an ordinary female worker under the patriarchy.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Boustrophedon » Mon May 31, 2021 10:59 pm

I remember Daley Thompson being interviewed for the BBC. Talk about car crash TV, he was dull, uninformative and occasionally made serious gaffs and lapses of judgement.

I'm wracking my brains to think of one sportsperson I would choose to listen to. Nope nothing. Perhaps one or two in motorsport, after all Murray Walker started out in motorcycle trials I think it was.

For that matter I never met a PE teacher who could give an engaging school assembly that wasn't "My favourite sporting hero."

FFS! Sports people are employed for their physicality not their ability to communicate, Let them do their thing and be done with it.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Gfamily » Mon May 31, 2021 11:50 pm

lpm wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 10:49 pm
No it isn't turning into that. The point is about power - she has masses of it. And the other point is that this is not a feminist issue - it is offensive to imply women's mental health is weaker, that women's sports elite need special protection, or that she is suffering like an ordinary female worker under the patriarchy.
I'm sure the patriarchy agrees
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Grumble » Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:01 am

Sport on tv is entertainment programming. Sports people are entertainers, same as actors. The most in demand actors from a given show will always be found giving media interviews to drive publicity.

Sports people who lose are normally more interesting to hear from than those who win, for example Johnathan Rea gives a very good loser’s interview with good analysis of why he didn’t win.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:14 am

I remember once on the Chris Moyles show, they did a quiz where they played clips of Andy Murray being interviewed after matches and the game was to guess whether he had won the match or not. It was impossible to tell.

One of the biggest problems is not that the interviews are a requirement, but that they're a requirement within 20 minutes after the match has finished. After potentially hours on the court, that's no time at all to compose oneself, get one's head in order and think about answering questions in as dull a way as possible. It's absolutely unnecessary to have that requirement so soon after the match. Even 2 hours would be perfectly adequate for the media.

And people who talk about how the interviews are there because the media pays for access - the media pays for access because people want to watch the sport. And people care about the actual sport, not the press conferences. No one gives the tiniest of f.cks about the press conferences. The questioning after the sport is almost entirely incidental and pointless. Barely anything of any value is revealed there. The BBC's Wimbledon coverage occasionally features clips from the press conferences but they're usually fifteen second clips of no significant content whatsoever.

Oh, and the suggestion that publicity drives prior to the release of a film are in any way comparable to post-match "I hit the ball, and there it was in the back of the net" comments from players is hilariously disingenuous and badly thought through.

And also, how much are media institutions paying for this access? ESPN or Sky or the BBC pay for sports rights, but newspapers don't. Newspapers mostly have no f.cking money - they send one or two journalists over to file copy after copy with no hint at all that anyone's monetary income would be affected by the removal of press conferences. If anything, by demanding press conferences, they're leeching off something created entirely by other people in which they serve little real value.

The world of tennis would not collapse in any way if press conferences changed format, were pushed back or frankly were completely binned. They're not the reason anyone watches the sport, they result in nothing of any interest and serve no real purpose. If hacks want questions answering they can easily find another way to do it.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by JQH » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:03 am

Not important at all. The argument that they are paid big bucks because sponsorship and therefore are obliged to give interviews doesn't wash because top players these days are walking advertising hoardings any way so the sponsors are getting their money's worth whenever the players are on camera.

Also, I see P***s M****n has decided to lay into her and accuse her of "exploiting mental health". He really is a c.nt.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by WFJ » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:26 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:14 am
[...]
And also, how much are media institutions paying for this access? ESPN or Sky or the BBC pay for sports rights, but newspapers don't. Newspapers mostly have no f.cking money - they send one or two journalists over to file copy after copy with no hint at all that anyone's monetary income would be affected by the removal of press conferences. If anything, by demanding press conferences, they're leeching off something created entirely by other people in which they serve little real value.

The world of tennis would not collapse in any way if press conferences changed format, were pushed back or frankly were completely binned. They're not the reason anyone watches the sport, they result in nothing of any interest and serve no real purpose. If hacks want questions answering they can easily find another way to do it.
This is quite naive. The importance of press conferences to the organisers and the funding of the sport has nothing to do with money paid by broadcasters or journalists. Nor is the interest in what is said important, beyond the possibility of making the start of the news rather than the end. Look at the photos attached. Apart from the subject, can you see the common factor. Sponsors want their names seen in the papers and on TV and this is what funds almost all high level sport.
JQH wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:03 am
Not important at all. The argument that they are paid big bucks because sponsorship and therefore are obliged to give interviews doesn't wash because top players these days are walking advertising hoardings any way so the sponsors are getting their money's worth whenever the players are on camera.
But which sponsors are getting their money's worth? The players' personal sponsors?
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by JQH » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:37 am

Those images are all from press conferences so the players sponsors are not getting the publicity. Which would be an argument against players taking part in them if you're arguing that players' sponsors should get publicity in return for coughing up cash.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by lpm » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:37 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:14 am
And people who talk about how the interviews are there because the media pays for access - the media pays for access because people want to watch the sport. And people care about the actual sport, not the press conferences. No one gives the tiniest of f.cks about the press conferences. The questioning after the sport is almost entirely incidental and pointless. Barely anything of any value is revealed there. The BBC's Wimbledon coverage occasionally features clips from the press conferences but they're usually fifteen second clips of no significant content whatsoever.

...

The world of tennis would not collapse in any way if press conferences changed format, were pushed back or frankly were completely binned. They're not the reason anyone watches the sport, they result in nothing of any interest and serve no real purpose. If hacks want questions answering they can easily find another way to do it.
I'm sorry but that's absolutely wrong. We on this forum are not a normal sample. Most people love following celebrities and hearing them emote and feeling personal connections with them. Entire industries are built around this desire.

On that dancing show, viewers make friends with the celebrities. Tabloids have a very good sense of what their readers are interested in - built from extensive surveys as well as historical knowledge. They know that running a story on a C-list dancer on Strictly will get huge numbers of clicks. It is weird to me as well, but people don't mind endless repetition of "over the moon" and "sick as a parrot" interviews, in fact they seem to like it that way. There's always a vast appetite for the gossip and the speculation; people in offices seem to talk nonstop about how they like X but think Y is a bit arrogant.

Viewer watch the show for the mix of little dances and the personal connection with their new on screen friends.

The same applies 100% to sport. It's some fundamental trait in humans. Children in the playground talk about the personalities of their favourite football players as well as talking about the result. Wearing a football shirt with a player's name on the back is a bond to their "friend". And there's certain sports where the personal component is even more vital - duel sports. Snooker, tennis, boxing. It's one-on-one, a battle between individuals that's decided on tiny margins. The storyline of the duel is one of the fundamental stories humans tell. Just think of how often a team sport of 22 players gets distilled down into the duel format: Guardiola vs Tuchel or Messi vs Ronaldo.

The mental aspect of duel sports can be a key advantage/disadvantage. If a snooker player is in the wrong mental space, those tiny margins go against him. There can't be anyone more boring than a snooker player, the sort of personality who can spend hours every day practicising such a monotoneous hand-eye movement, and yet viewers still manage to develop interest in the individuals. It becomes almost an exercise in assigning a pre-built personality to players, assigning one the Bjorn Borg ice man label and the other the reckless McEnroe label.

Exploiting the mental abilities of an opponent in tennis is just as much a part of the sport as exploiting their second serve. Watching a duel is not just about the sport of hitting a ball, it's also about who is going to make the first error in the tightly fought tie-break. Tennis is decided on only a handful of points in a game going a player's way - which is why knowing the personalities is important. The first week of a grand slam is so boring because the duel story breaks down: we don't know one of the players and the margins are too wide, leaving only the storyline of giant killing as a possibility. In the second week it all picks up because we "know" both players and pick the side of our favourite and the match gets decided on very tight margins.
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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by WFJ » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:47 am

JQH wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:37 am
Those images are all from press conferences so the players sponsors are not getting the publicity. Which would be an argument against players taking part in them if you're arguing that players' sponsors should get publicity in return for coughing up cash.
No I was arguing the opposite. Press conferences are for the event sponsors, who fund the events and their prize money.

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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:52 am

WFJ wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:47 am
JQH wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:37 am
Those images are all from press conferences so the players sponsors are not getting the publicity. Which would be an argument against players taking part in them if you're arguing that players' sponsors should get publicity in return for coughing up cash.
No I was arguing the opposite. Press conferences are for the event sponsors, who fund the events and their prize money.
Yes, indeed. If sports stars stopped doing press conferences then the event organizers would need to find another way to get media coverage of the sponsors' logos.

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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by tom p » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:10 am

Fishnut wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 7:39 pm
tom p wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 7:33 pm
Well why didn't she just say that in the first place?
Maybe because talking about depression and anxiety is really f.cking hard.
Absolutely, and she's a young woman (only 23) and should be expected to make mistakes. I do have sympathy for her, and she has been very poorly advised. But she should have acted very differently to how she did.

What she should have done is openly and frankly discussed it with the tournament organisers, who are equivalent to her employers in this situation, either directly herself or via her agent and in any case with support from her psychologist & an expensive lawyer sitting in if only for the intimidation factor. They would then have been obliged to take account of this and probably would have shown discretion in allowing her to either just skip the press conferences or do a puff-piece with the TV after each match as her obligations (they could even have claimed they were trialing a new system to keep the reasons secret). Or they could have been dicks about it and just threatened to fine & ban her as they did.

In the context of being presented with a fait accompli accompanied by a bunch of sh.t arguments, I don't blame them for their initial reaction. All sports people would rather not do the media stuff, but it's part of the job. If I announced via email to the whole company that I was no longer going to reply to stakeholders (which is part of my job description) because I'm bored of the same old questions (I have 4 different RTFM replies depending on which guidance they don't know), then my boss, and his boss, and his boss (the Executive Director) would rightly ask me what the f.ck I thought I was playing at and give me a bollocking.
If, on the other hand, I went to my boss and explained about the levels of stress I'm under and why I could do with a break from the stakeholder replies for a bit, then my boss would either be sympathetic and make sure that I don't get any more assigned to me for a bit, or he'll be a dick about it.
As it happens, when my wife was desperately ill with severe COVID and I was trying to care for her, raise the kids, school my daughter and do my work last spring, exactly this situation arose & my boss was sympathetic about it.
As well as getting herself in a good place, she needs to fire her advisers (or start to listen to them, in case they actually advised her not to do it as she did)

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Re: So how important is it to see sports players being interviewed?

Post by noggins » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:34 am

Compulsory postmatch interviews are pointless b.llsh.t.
Its 99% bland platitudes and the odd actual insight would likely get expressed voluntarily anyway.

If the public dont like shy sportspersons then sponsors can adjust their commercial decisions accordingly.


I suspect Osaka wanted out of this tournament anyway so figured she might as well make her protest.

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