Naomi Osaka Speaks Out After Being Fined $15,000 for Her Media Boycott

Naomi Osaka responded after she was fined $15,000 for skipping her French Open news conference. This follows her recent announcement that she would not do press due to mental health concerns.

By Ryan Gajewski May 31, 2021 3:10 AMTags
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Naomi Osaka is swinging back after she was hit with a fine for not speaking to the media following her first match of this year's French Open.

On Sunday, May 30, the Grand Slam tournaments issued a joint press release stating that Naomi, currently ranked as the No. 2 player in the world, had been fined $15,000 for skipping her mandatory press conference after defeating 63rd-ranked Patricia Maria Tig on the first day of the annual tennis event, also known as Roland-Garros. This follows Naomi, 23, having announced last week that she wouldn't be doing press at the French Open due to concerns about her mental health. 

"Naomi Osaka today chose not to honour her contractual media obligations," the statement read in part. "The Roland-Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine, in keeping with article III H. of the Code of Conduct."

Tennis players are required to partake in news conferences at Grand Slam tournaments if asked to do so. 

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According to the press release, the French Open staff "tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue and what might be done to address it on site." The tournaments' message added that "rules should equally apply to all players" and warned that "repeat violations attract tougher sanctions." 

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Later that day, Naomi took to Twitter to respond to the fine by posting, "anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable." 

On Wednesday, May 26, the athlete tweeted she would not address the media during the French Open, writing that press conferences show "no regard for athletes mental health." 

At that time, she acknowledged that she would be facing fines for her decision and wrote, "Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity." 

The fine is unlikely to be a major financial concern for Naomi. In May 2020, Forbes reported she had set a record over the past 12 months as the highest-earning female athlete in a single year. 

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