Naomi Osaka Left In Tears During First Press Conference Since May
The tennis star was asked "fairly aggressively toned question about how she benefits from a high-media profile but doesn't like talking to media.”
August 16, 2021 at 10:00 pm
Naomi Osaka became emotional after a journalist interrogated her during her first press conference in months.
TMZ reported that tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg said an unnamed journalist asked the 23-year-old a “fairly aggressively toned question about how she benefits from a high-media profile but doesn't like talking to media.” The question was asked during a press conference ahead of Osaka’s match at the Western & Southern Open in Ohio.
The star athlete was so distraught by the reporter’s question, that she had to take a break and leave the podium in the middle of the press conference in order to cool off before returning for more questioning, Yahoo reported.
She said athletes are frequently “asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me…I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they’re down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it.”
During Monday’s press conference the tennis player began to cry while telling reporters that she was glad she made the decision to step away from playing tennis and attending press conferences for the sake of her mental wellbeing.
Naomi Osaka bursts into tears and exits podium while addressing how she has felt since withdrawing from French Open. pic.twitter.com/xBn8XRF8FB— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) August 16, 2021
“It was something I needed to do for myself and more than anything I felt, I hold up in myself for a couple of weeks and I was little bit embarrassed to go out because I didn’t know if people were looking at me in a different way than they usually did before,” Osaka said.
“I think the biggest eye-opener was going to the Olympics and having other athletes come up to me and say they were really glad that I did what I did. After all of that, I’m proud of what I did and I think it was something that needed to be done,” the tennis star added.
TMZ reported that Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid, called the reporter a “bully” for asking such an insensitive question.
“The bully at the Cincinnati Enquirer is the epitome of why player/media relations are so fraught right now. Everyone on that Zoom will agree that his tone was all wrong and his sole purpose was to intimidate. Really appalling behavior,” Duguid said.
“And this insinuation that Naomi owes her off-court success to the media is a myth – don’t be so self-indulgent,” he added.