Osaka fined for boycotting news conference

NHK -- May 31
Japanese tennis player Osaka Naomi has been fined 15,000 dollars for skipping a post-match news conference at the French Open.

The organizers of the Grand Slam tournaments warned of possible expulsion from the tournament and future Grand Slam suspensions if she continues to ignore "her contractual media obligations."

The top officials of the four Grand Slam tourneys issued a joint statement on Sunday after Osaka boycotted a news conference earlier in the day following her first-round win at the French Open.

Osaka had announced her decision on Twitter several days before to forgo all post-match news conferences at the tournament. She wrote that she often felt that people have no regard for athletes' mental health.

The organizers' statement said that following Osaka's announcement, the French Open teams asked her to reconsider her position and were unsuccessful in their attempts to check on her well-being.

The statement added, "The mental health of players competing in our tournaments and on the Tours is of the utmost importance to the Grand Slams."

The organizers said, "A core element of the Grand Slam regulations is the responsibility of the players to engage with the media, whatever the result of their match, a responsibility which players take for the benefit of the sport, the fans and for themselves."

They said, "As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament...and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions."

By Sunday evening, however, it appeared Osaka had put the ball firmly back in the organizers' court, responding on Twitter that "Anger is a lack of understanding.

Change makes people uncomfortable." - NHK