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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I tell my story. I'm not here to sell a product, but to challenge people's thoughts to take better care of themselves. To validate those that are already doing this. To educate, to eradicate the mental health stigma, to influence those that need influencing and doing all of this with respect as each person has their own journey and we need to recognise that. I am vulnerable and raw. I have to be authentic. I am me. I have faults, I have made and continue to make mistakes, but I learn from those mistakes, I am me.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Naomi Osaka - respect

In the last few days we have seen Naomi Osaka get smashed the sports media and the media in general for refusing to engage with her apparent media commitments.

This has resulted in Naomi withdrawing from the French Open and having to come out and admit that she has been struggling with bouts of depression since her breakthrough Grand Slam title in 2018.

There are a few points to make out of this.


Incredible amount of respect for Naomi, who faces daily pressures that only those that reach her heights of success and/or fame could understand. Naomi is 23 years old and for her to say what she did was incredibly courageous and a show of pure leadership. She could have claimed physical injury or some other manufactured excuse, but she didn't. That is commendable.


The sports media and media in general need to hang their heads in shame. High profile media personalities the world over clambered over each other to see who could make Naomi sound worse than the other.


Naomi is an incredible athlete. She is equally as humble as her athletic ability. She speaks well. She is incredibly respectful. Not that I am an avid tennis watcher, but I have never seen her blow up over a call that didn't go her way. She is shy. She suffers from social anxiety and anyone who suffers anxiety will know how debilitating this is. She often wears headphones to drown the anxiety. She borders on anxiety attacks when having to do press conferences.

If these so called media experts actually have a look at the person, the human behind the racquet, they would realise that there would have been an explainable reason why she wasn't doing the press conferences.

I have no doubt that these same "journos" will now write stories about how courageous Naomi is by taking a break and other positive Naomi stories. It is not good enough. The damage has been done without any consideration to how Naomi was feeling or travelling. Perhaps stop trying to get clicks and be a proper journalist.

I sincerely hope that Naomi gets her depression and anxiety under control because she is the ideal sportswoman that our little girls should be looking up to. It would be an incredible loss to the sporting world if she pulls the pin but then again, who could blame her.

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