Tennis 2021

jezza1918

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I realize it was just Istomin, but I am somewhat shocked at just how clean Federer's game looked. Barely over 90 minutes, 71% first serve, and a 48 winners to 20 unforced errors ratio is a dream start.
 

jon abbey

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Naomi Osaka withdraws, good job assholes running these tournaments. Those press conferences always suck and are never illuminating, and it is indeed absurd to make players who lose do them.
 

cromulence

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I gotta disagree - she handled this very, very poorly. If she wanted to spark change with how the press conferences are handled, there were other ways for her to do that. Suddenly announcing that you're boycotting press conferences days before the tournament starts was an incendiary way to do it, and it's no surprise that the reaction from the grand slam organizers was strong.

Media obligations are part of being a professional athlete. Media rights and the money associated with them are largely what makes the sport (any sport, really) go financially. Yeah, sometimes the press conferences are a waste of time, but that's absolutely not always the case. Fans want to hear from their favorite players, and not just the crap they post on social media. Answering questions about the match isn't an unfair ask, in my opinion.
 
Naomi Osaka withdraws, good job assholes running these tournaments. Those press conferences always suck and are never illuminating, and it is indeed absurd to make players who lose do them.
The lion's share of the blame here lies with Osaka, not the tournament organizers. She may have what she thinks are good reasons for avoiding her press commitments, but a) the media attention on the tournament is what generates fan interest and what ultimately creates the players' prize funds, and b) from a competitive standpoint, being able to buy your way out of press interviews (by paying her fines) creates something of an uneven playing field, especially relative to other stars who would be asked roughly the same volume of press questions. I'm not sure I even agree with your assessment of the press conferences themselves - tennis is a sport in which sometimes illuminating questions are asked and things are said in response at press conferences. And the whole point of a press conference is to allow journalists to ask all of their post-match questions at once, thereby making it easier on the players.

[EDIT - just beaten to the punch by @cromulence.]
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, it’s complicated but I’m still pissed and have now lost most of my interest in the women’s draw. I also disagree that press conferences have much to do with fan interest or generating money, the sport itself does that, but really I’m not interested in arguing, I’m just pissed, rationally or not.
 

swiftaw

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I'm trying to think of another sport off the top of my head where the loser is immediately dragged in front of a huge press pool to field questions as to how they lost.

There has to be a balance here, yes, professional athletes should be expected to have media responsibilities, but there has to be a better way. Perhaps, allow losers an hour or two to process everything before they face the media, or perhaps losers can be interviewed only by one or two people (with the interview shared with the whole pool).
 

jezza1918

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First off, I truly hope Osaka is ok and whatever it is she is going through she will eventually work through.
That said, there is another financial element to this that I haven't seen discussed - Osaka can afford to not do the press conferences, pay the fine, and work on her mental health. Pretty much anyone outside the top 50 or so can not. For awhile now, prize money discrepancy has been an important topic on the ATP/WTA tours, and for good reason. I don't have time to dig into full numbers right now, but suffice it to say I'm sure there are plenty of men & women in the Roland Garros draws that would LOVE to skip the press conferences as well, and simply can't afford to.
Overall it's a complicated topic and quite frankly I'm not sure the optics for anyone involved right now look good, but for me I'm totally fine with Osaka doing what she thinks is necessary for her well being, I just think the financial aspect is part of the equation that should be addressed.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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I'm trying to think of another sport off the top of my head where the loser is immediately dragged in front of a huge press pool to field questions as to how they lost.
Pretty much all the major North American team sports have post-game press conferences that include members of the losing teams, both regular season and playoffs.
 

swiftaw

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Pretty much all the major North American team sports have post-game press conferences that include members of the losing teams, both regular season and playoffs.
True, but they don't send the whole team up there, they can rotate it so you don't have to do it very often, or they can send the coach/manager. Also, its usually a press conference with a single journalist, not a mob.
 

mcpickl

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I gotta disagree - she handled this very, very poorly. If she wanted to spark change with how the press conferences are handled, there were other ways for her to do that. Suddenly announcing that you're boycotting press conferences days before the tournament starts was an incendiary way to do it, and it's no surprise that the reaction from the grand slam organizers was strong.

Media obligations are part of being a professional athlete. Media rights and the money associated with them are largely what makes the sport (any sport, really) go financially. Yeah, sometimes the press conferences are a waste of time, but that's absolutely not always the case. Fans want to hear from their favorite players, and not just the crap they post on social media. Answering questions about the match isn't an unfair ask, in my opinion.
Do you think those companies that spend the money for those media rights are happy one of the biggest stars in the sport won't be on television playing because she didn't want to answer questions after every match?

I'd bet they'd rather have those eyeballs watching her playing on tv, at the expense of not having those ears hear her answer questions.
 
True, but they don't send the whole team up there, they can rotate it so you don't have to do it very often, or they can send the coach/manager. Also, its usually a press conference with a single journalist, not a mob.
Golf has mass press conferences for "losers" - i.e., top players on the leaderboard after the tournament is done who fail to win - as well.
 

jon abbey

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Osaka made a mistake by making this a public issue to begin with before trying to approach it privately (although maybe she tried that first, who knows), but she is understandably focused on actually playing tennis at the highest level, on a surface she hasn't done well on. To me the tennis powers that be made a far bigger mistake by going after her publicly in return (the French Open official Twitter account mocked her before she dropped out, for one) as it's their job to figure out how to best support the players, who are the sport.
 

jon abbey

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I reread Osaka’s initial statement and it does sound like she tried to deal with this privately first but was met with no flexibility from the powers that be. I’m very curious to see what happens from here.
 

Average Reds

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To me the tennis powers that be made a far bigger mistake by going after her publicly in return (the French Open official Twitter account mocked her before she dropped out, for one) as it's their job to figure out how to best support the players, who are the sport.
The bolded is precisely right.

The French Open forced the #2 seed to withdraw by threatening her with default if she didn’t fulfill media obligations. Anyone who sees that as anything other than a titanic mistake is missing the forest for the trees.

No one follows the French Open for the media coverage.
 

mauidano

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Osaka did the right thing by withdrawing. I don't believe that her intent was to be as disruptive as it was. Going forward EVERY player was going to be asked about it in their post-match pressers. It was definitely going to be a MAJOR distraction and the backlash would have not been good for her or the Tournament. She can afford to not play and try to figure out her health issues. For someone who is active with her social issues and loves the fame aspects of her career, it seemed to catch everyone off guard. Including her.
 

67YAZ

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a) the media attention on the tournament is what generates fan interest and what ultimately creates the players' prize funds, and b) from a competitive standpoint, being able to buy your way out of press interviews (by paying her fines) creates something of an uneven playing field, especially relative to other stars who would be asked roughly the same volume of press questions.

[EDIT - just beaten to the punch by @cromulence.]
Media attention is what makes these events “events,” but press conferences are a tiny slice of that media attention. Lumping in her boycott with television broadcasts, streaming, advertising, studio shows, etc...misrepresents what Osaka did. She didn’t ask that her matches not be broadcast. She didn’t ask to be taken off the advertising. She just didn’t do press conferences for the very reasons illustrated by the racist comment made to Gauff today. Moreover, if we are talking about the media as an undifferentiated collective, then they make much much more money from pro tennis than Osaka does. They don’t really need her at those press conferences to generate huge sums of money in the aggregate.

As for using her money to buy herself out of press conferences as being an unfair advantage - sure. She also has coaches and personal chefs and agents and businesses advisors and private flights and on and on that the vast majority of her peers will never afford. Salary caps are one thing, but I’ve never heard of individual professional athletes being limited in what they can spend on themselves.
 

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Golf has mass press conferences for "losers" - i.e., top players on the leaderboard after the tournament is done who fail to win - as well.
How many of the "non-winners" are required to do those pressers? Is it everyone in the top 10? Top 20? Top 30? My point being at some point the line is drawn, and it isn't required of every player in the field after every round. I imagine there are golfers that can get through a whole weekend's event without having to do a press conference (that's not to say they don't speak with a reporter or two in a one-on-one setting).

Seems like these tennis press conferences are after every match, win or lose, and that's Osaka's main objection. So if a player advances to the final in a Grand Slam, that's seven press conferences in two weeks. If one is a top seed, they're probably doing this every event. I can see where one might find that as an excessive grind, let alone if they have anxiety or other underlying concerns.

There has to be a middle ground between not doing them at all and requiring players to do them all. Why not let a player issue a statement instead of being asked the same repetitive and occasionally ignorant questions (like that one to Gauff highlighted a few posts up)? Or a one-on-one with a pool reporter instead of a room full of them. Osaka may or may not have taken the correct approach in this situation, but the tournament officials absolutely fucked up their response.
 

Section30

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Osaka has talked about long bouts of depression since 2018. It's good that she pulled out and takes some time for herself. I personally hope she walks away from tennis and has successful life without the stress.

One of her post match media events: View: https://twitter.com/abcnews4dean/status/1399455146380251136?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet


One of her tweets, "I do have a loving and strong support group, without which I wouldn't be around anymore"

Fuck the four major tournaments banding together to threaten her livelihood.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't know Osaka's story very well or what her mental wellness issues are. But I'm all for her taking care of herself. Mental wellness is something we often as people do a very poor job of handling. Plus, there's a totally unfair and unfortunate stigma attached to mental illness (not saying she has a mental *illness*) that shades these conversations sometimes.

That being said, every job has aspects of it that we don't like. It's almost impossible to find a job where every single aspect of it is enjoyable. Everyone has *something* about their job that bothers them, perhaps even immensely. These athletes know that press conferences are part of the job, like it or not. If you are a 17 year old, and want to become a professional athlete in your chosen sport, especially if you know you can/will become one of the five best in the world at it, would you still pursue it even knowing that there's going to be this piece of it that you hate? (in fact, most pro athletes hate much more about being a pro athlete than just this piece) I bet most of us would.

If the argument is that the press often sucks, well, most of us here root for Boston-based teams, so think of the press that exists around here. Yeah, the press can often suck. No doubt about it. I often wonder if part of Belichick's approach is just his way of dealing with the sucky part of his job. Because he seems to love every other aspect of it.

I wish Osaka well. She needs to take care of herself. I also wish she'd be able to find a way to make this work because she's a marvelous tennis player and the game is better off when she's playing. And I also wish the media wouldn't be so terrible sometimes. That's not too much to ask either.
 

jezza1918

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On the actual tennis front, pretty shocked to see Rublev down two sets to love to Struff. Clay isn't Rublev's best surface but he has had a pretty decent season and I would think with how fast the clay at RG is currently playing it would be a benefit to him.
 

jezza1918

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Bernarda Pera is playing surprisingly well against Ash Barty. Since going 5-2 down in the first set, she's won 7 of the last 10 games and is now one game away from going the distance.
Following this one as well...are you watching? Curious how much of this is Pera stepping up her game compared to Barty's play affected by her arm injury at all...
 
Following this one as well...are you watching? Curious how much of this is Pera stepping up her game compared to Barty's play affected by her arm injury at all...
Yeah, I'm watching. Pera is serving well, hitting the ball really cleanly and also showing excellent defensive skills at times. (I've actually been paying less attention to Barty's game, insofar as I'm much less likely to be commentating on Barty any time soon than Pera.) ;)
 

jezza1918

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Rublev seems to have righted the ship and is now level and will serve to start the 5th. Also playing right now is Kohlschreiber vs. Verdasco, both 37 years old. I wonder how close a combined age of 74 is to a grand slam record.
 

Average Reds

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I don't know Osaka's story very well or what her mental wellness issues are. But I'm all for her taking care of herself. Mental wellness is something we often as people do a very poor job of handling. Plus, there's a totally unfair and unfortunate stigma attached to mental illness (not saying she has a mental *illness*) that shades these conversations sometimes.

That being said, every job has aspects of it that we don't like. It's almost impossible to find a job where every single aspect of it is enjoyable. Everyone has *something* about their job that bothers them, perhaps even immensely. These athletes know that press conferences are part of the job, like it or not. If you are a 17 year old, and want to become a professional athlete in your chosen sport, especially if you know you can/will become one of the five best in the world at it, would you still pursue it even knowing that there's going to be this piece of it that you hate? (in fact, most pro athletes hate much more about being a pro athlete than just this piece) I bet most of us would.

If the argument is that the press often sucks, well, most of us here root for Boston-based teams, so think of the press that exists around here. Yeah, the press can often suck. No doubt about it. I often wonder if part of Belichick's approach is just his way of dealing with the sucky part of his job. Because he seems to love every other aspect of it.

I wish Osaka well. She needs to take care of herself. I also wish she'd be able to find a way to make this work because she's a marvelous tennis player and the game is better off when she's playing. And I also wish the media wouldn't be so terrible sometimes. That's not too much to ask either.
Here's where I differ from you. These athletes are not employees - they are (by definition) contractors, which means, by definition, that they are not bound by obligations of the "job" that they don't like. (It also means that they can be fired at will, which is why the French Open was apparently making noises about defaulting her for not doing what they want.) This is why comparisons to athletes/coaches in a team sport are fundamentally inapt.

This is also why this is 100% on the organizers of the French Open, because they control the show. And if they want to bounce the #2 seed because they are unwilling to make an accomodation for an athlete struggling with mental health, they have that right. (And they need to accept the responsibility.)

Beyond this, they are, if one will pardon my French, fucking monsters. As are the so-called journalists who are up in arms over the refusal of an athlete to subject themselves to their fucking inanity.
 

BaseballJones

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Here's where I differ from you. These athletes are not employees - they are (by definition) contractors, which means, by definition, that they are not bound by obligations of the "job" that they don't like. (It also means that they can be fired at will, which is why the French Open was apparently making noises about defaulting her for not doing what they want.) This is why comparisons to athletes/coaches in a team sport are fundamentally inapt.

This is also why this is 100% on the organizers of the French Open, because they control the show. And if they want to bounce the #2 seed because they are unwilling to make an accomodation for an athlete struggling with mental health, they have that right. (And they need to accept the responsibility.)

Beyond this, they are, if one will pardon my French, fucking monsters.
I hear you, but if the rules of competing, say, in the French Open are that you have to do these media events, well players are welcome to play in the tournament or not. If, being independent contractors, so to speak, they want to conduct business with the French Open, then this is part of the deal. It's like if you want to play at Wimbledon, you have to wear white. If you don't like that, then don't compete at Wimbledon. If enough athletes protest the "you have to wear white" rule at Wimbledon by sitting out the tournament, maybe tournament organizers will change their rules. Like, if the top 15 men's players all said we're not playing in Wimbledon if we are required to wear white, then I bet Wimbledon would at least pause and think about their rule.

(So maybe we're saying the same thing?)

Just because they're playing an individual sport and not a team sport, doesn't mean there aren't still going to be aspects of the job they don't like.
 

Average Reds

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I hear you, but if the rules of competing, say, in the French Open are that you have to do these media events, well players are welcome to play in the tournament or not. If, being independent contractors, so to speak, they want to conduct business with the French Open, then this is part of the deal. It's like if you want to play at Wimbledon, you have to wear white. If you don't like that, then don't compete at Wimbledon. If enough athletes protest the "you have to wear white" rule at Wimbledon by sitting out the tournament, maybe tournament organizers will change their rules. Like, if the top 15 men's players all said we're not playing in Wimbledon if we are required to wear white, then I bet Wimbledon would at least pause and think about their rule.

(So maybe we're saying the same thing?)

Just because they're playing an individual sport and not a team sport, doesn't mean there aren't still going to be aspects of the job they don't like.
As I said, if the French Open wants to bounce her because their rigidity does not allow exceptions, that is their right. (We agree on that.) Where we differ is the bolded, because that is simply false as a factual matter.

Comparisons to Belichick (who operates under the dictates of a multi-year contract and the rules of the league) or any pro athletes who operate under a basic agreement are inapt because those athletes have their media obligations written into their contracts. In individual sports, the nature of that relationship is event-to-event, and the rules can be modified with ease without setting any precedent. Because the only precedent is that this is what the organizers want at that given time. They are free to be as flexible or inflexible as they want. That gives them immense power over the athletes who play in their events. With that great power comes total responsibility.

They thought they could bring Osaka to heel by threatening her. They were wrong and they must own that miscalculation, because they valued placating the voracious hyenas in the media* over the quality of the event itself.

Edit: *I should make it clear that this is not a blanket statement. I do understand that not all members of the tennis press are voracious hyenas. (In fact, I have a cousin who is one of them and she has written dozens of thoughtful articles on both men's and women's tennis over the years.) That said, the predatory behavior of the European tennis press towards women has been well-documented and no, I don't accept that this should be seen as something that is "part of the job."
 
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Let me ask a somewhat provocative question: if we accept that depression (and trying to deal with it) is at the root of Osaka's actions, should players suffering with depression be given special accommodation in sport? From a sporting perspective, how - if at all - is depression different to physical injuries? Or, say, alcoholism? If you are trying to compete at the highest level of professional sport, should you have to be sound in body and mind to succeed? Part of what makes a grand slam tennis tournament such a demanding challenge is the two-week mental grind you have to overcome to conquer it, and whether or not you agree with the press and the way it behaves, isn't running the media gauntlet part of what makes a slam a slam?
 

Average Reds

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Let me ask a somewhat provocative question: if we accept that depression (and trying to deal with it) is at the root of Osaka's actions, should players suffering with depression be given special accommodation in sport? From a sporting perspective, how - if at all - is depression different to physical injuries? Or, say, alcoholism? If you are trying to compete at the highest level of professional sport, should you have to be sound in body and mind to succeed? Part of what makes a grand slam tennis tournament such a demanding challenge is the two-week mental grind you have to overcome to conquer it, and whether or not you agree with the press and the way it behaves, isn't running the media gauntlet part of what makes a slam a slam?
Running the media gauntlet is a useless indulgence of the delusional narcissism of the media, who misunderstand their power to influence public perception with actual importance. Quite honestly, I find the lack of perspective on the role of the media in athletic competitions to be astonishing. More directly, the media exists to inform the public - not to shape the outcome. The difference is profound.

So that would be a no.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Let me ask a somewhat provocative question: if we accept that depression (and trying to deal with it) is at the root of Osaka's actions, should players suffering with depression be given special accommodation in sport? From a sporting perspective, how - if at all - is depression different to physical injuries? Or, say, alcoholism? If you are trying to compete at the highest level of professional sport, should you have to be sound in body and mind to succeed? Part of what makes a grand slam tennis tournament such a demanding challenge is the two-week mental grind you have to overcome to conquer it, and whether or not you agree with the press and the way it behaves, isn't running the media gauntlet part of what makes a slam a slam?
But why? I don't' think an athlete should be given an on-the-court accommodation (whatever that may be) for depression. As someone who played tennis into college, I understand the game is as much mental as physical. But why do we just accept that "running the media gauntlet" is part of winning a grand slam? Winning a slam should be about who played the best tennis over the course of two weeks, not who played the best tennis but also was able to withstand (oftentimes idiotic and sometimes abusive) questions from the media.
 

jezza1918

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But why? I don't' think an athlete should be given an on-the-court accommodation (whatever that may be) for depression. As someone who played tennis into college, I understand the game is as much mental as physical. But why do we just accept that "running the media gauntlet" is part of winning a grand slam? Winning a slam should be about who played the best tennis over the course of two weeks, not who played the best tennis but also was able to withstand (oftentimes idiotic and sometimes abusive) questions from the media.
+1. This is well stated, and as someone that quit playing tennis in college, and also coached college tennis...when it comes to winning I'd say it's even more mental than physical. So why does answering questions from the press have to add onto the mental pressure? If it were simple Q&A's about what happened on the court, I'd have more sympathy for the press here. But it's pretty clear that as currently constituted, it is indeed a needless "gauntlet."
 

swiftaw

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But why? I don't' think an athlete should be given an on-the-court accommodation (whatever that may be) for depression. As someone who played tennis into college, I understand the game is as much mental as physical. But why do we just accept that "running the media gauntlet" is part of winning a grand slam? Winning a slam should be about who played the best tennis over the course of two weeks, not who played the best tennis but also was able to withstand (oftentimes idiotic and sometimes abusive) questions from the media.
I was thinking about this over the last day, and wondering whether the ADA would protect her at the US Open. The ADA says something about reasonable accommodations, I could argue that exemption from doing press is a reasonable accommodation. (However, I'm betting she isn't eligible for ADA protection due to some loophole abou her not being an employee of the US Open).
 
But why do we just accept that "running the media gauntlet" is part of winning a grand slam? Winning a slam should be about who played the best tennis over the course of two weeks, not who played the best tennis but also was able to withstand (oftentimes idiotic and sometimes abusive) questions from the media.
My counter to this, purely from the "sporting merit" perspective, would be to say that the best players in the world - the ones who are most likely to be inundated with media attention - already have the deck stacked in their favor at the slams. When did Nadal, Djokovic or Federer last play a match on anything but one of the top two courts at a slam, courts which they're so used to play on but which can intimidate many opponents from the outset? They get favorable scheduling, they of course have the resources to procure the nicest accommodation and the like at each event, the crowd is always *massively* in their favor unless they're facing each other, and to some extent they even get preferential treatment from umpires (such as Nadal never getting a time warning despite routinely running through the 25-second shot clock). Media hassles may be the only factor that works against them to very slightly level the playing field.

That isn't the core of my argument, though. Ignore the last sentence of my previous post, and just consider this part of it:
Let me ask a somewhat provocative question: if we accept that depression (and trying to deal with it) is at the root of Osaka's actions, should players suffering with depression be given special accommodation in sport? From a sporting perspective, how - if at all - is depression different to physical injuries? Or, say, alcoholism? If you are trying to compete at the highest level of professional sport, should you have to be sound in body and mind to succeed?
I'm very sympathetic to people suffering from depression. And I think it's far more important for someone like Osaka to recover from depression than it is to try to win major tennis titles. Maybe playing tennis is and should be part of what helps her out of her depression. But a tournament like the one in Nottingham next week - which I'm sure would love to have her, interviews or no interviews - might be a more suitable environment to recovering than one of the four highest-profile tournaments in the world.
 

BaseballJones

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As I said, if the French Open wants to bounce her because their rigidity does not allow exceptions, that is their right. (We agree on that.) Where we differ is the bolded, because that is simply false as a factual matter.

Comparisons to Belichick (who operates under the dictates of a multi-year contract and the rules of the league) or any pro athletes who operate under a basic agreement are inapt because those athletes have their media obligations written into their contracts. In individual sports, the nature of that relationship is event-to-event, and the rules can be modified with ease without setting any precedent. Because the only precedent is that this is what the organizers want at that given time. They are free to be as flexible or inflexible as they want. That gives them immense power over the athletes who play in their events. With that great power comes total responsibility.

They thought they could bring Osaka to heel by threatening her. They were wrong and they must own that miscalculation, because they valued placating the voracious hyenas in the media* over the quality of the event itself.

Edit: *I should make it clear that this is not a blanket statement. I do understand that not all members of the tennis press are voracious hyenas. (In fact, I have a cousin who is one of them and she has written dozens of thoughtful articles on both men's and women's tennis over the years.) That said, the predatory behavior of the European tennis press towards women has been well-documented and no, I don't accept that this should be seen as something that is "part of the job."
I don't care if you are part of a pro sports team or you own you own landscaping business - there are going to be parts of ANY job that you don't like. It happens to be the case that if you want to be a pro tennis player playing in tournaments like Wimbledon and the French Open, for now anyway, doing press conferences is part of it.

Of COURSE crappy media behavior shouldn't exist. But then, crappy bosses shouldn't exist, and crappy employees shouldn't exist, and crappy customers shouldn't exist. This isn't excusing it; it's just that there are crappy people to be found in every profession, sports media included.
 

Gdiguy

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I don't care if you are part of a pro sports team or you own you own landscaping business - there are going to be parts of ANY job that you don't like. It happens to be the case that if you want to be a pro tennis player playing in tournaments like Wimbledon and the French Open, for now anyway, doing press conferences is part of it.

Of COURSE crappy media behavior shouldn't exist. But then, crappy bosses shouldn't exist, and crappy employees shouldn't exist, and crappy customers shouldn't exist. This isn't excusing it; it's just that there are crappy people to be found in every profession, sports media included.
Ok, but if your job (which you enjoy) is painting and you're selected based on painting skill, and then once a week you suddenly have to go scrub toilets for 2 hours, you might question 'why is this part of this job to begin with'

She's the 2nd best women's tennis player in the world - that's a good reason to have her in a tennis tournament. If the press conferences aren't actually a significant part of the draw of the tennis tournament, why are we forcing people who are in the tournament because they're good at and enjoy tennis to do them? (especially if they have particular struggles with them, and ESPECIALLY if the press are going to ask racist and sexist questions for an hour)
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
12,740
Ok, but if your job (which you enjoy) is painting and you're selected based on painting skill, and then once a week you suddenly have to go scrub toilets for 2 hours, you might question 'why is this part of this job to begin with'

She's the 2nd best women's tennis player in the world - that's a good reason to have her in a tennis tournament. If the press conferences aren't actually a significant part of the draw of the tennis tournament, why are we forcing people who are in the tournament because they're good at and enjoy tennis to do them? (especially if they have particular struggles with them, and ESPECIALLY if the press are going to ask racist and sexist questions for an hour)
I agree that it's a great question whether this SHOULD be part of her job. I understand that media coverage enhances the visibility of the sport, and the visibility of the sport increasing is good for the game and good for the players, especially in terms of $$$. It harms the sport in some way when one of the best players doesn't want to talk to reporters, it could be argued.

That being said, I don't know if these things ought to be *mandatory*. There's an argument to be made that they shouldn't. But right now, they ARE mandatory. I know of no job that doesn't come with crappy aspects to it.

The press, meanwhile, should be working hard to be better at *their* jobs and not ask horrendous, offensive questions. Seems like a small ask to me.
 

gammoseditor

also had a stroke
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Jul 17, 2005
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Naomi Osaka understands media is part of the job. In reading her first statement it was clear her understanding was there was a fine for not doing that part of her job and she was willing to pay it. Her second statement makes it clear it was more than that, and that she suffered depression after a previous loss and had anxiety about having to face the media after another tough loss. The anxiety was so bad she withdrew from a major event costing herself a lot of money. Responding to her situation with an attitude that every job has aspects that suck is missing the point.
 

Average Reds

Dope
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That being said, I don't know if these things ought to be *mandatory*. There's an argument to be made that they shouldn't. But right now, they ARE mandatory. I know of no job that doesn't come with crappy aspects to it.
You are, once again, completely ignoring the point: it’s not a requirement of the job. It’s a requirement of the French Open. And if one player has a good reason for not giving interviews, the organizers of the French Open have the ability to make that requirement disappear if they are truly interested in putting on the best tournament.

Maybe you see that as a nuance that isn’t worthy of consideration. I disagree.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
12,740
You are, once again, completely ignoring the point: it’s not a requirement of the job. It’s a requirement of the French Open. And if one player has a good reason for not giving interviews, the organizers of the French Open have the ability to make that requirement disappear if they are truly interested in putting on the best tournament.

Maybe you see that as a nuance that isn’t worthy of consideration. I disagree.
I don't disagree with you. I said in an earlier post (see post #233) that this is what's required in the French Open, like wearing white is required at Wimbledon. And if players don't want to deal with this part of the job at the French Open, they can choose not to participate. And if enough players choose not to participate, you can bet that the French Open (or Wimbledon in the other example I used) will think about changing their ways.

If you're an independent contractor and want to work at my house, and I say, if you want to work at my house you need to wear a mask, and you agree to take the job, then yes, part of the job here is to wear a mask.

So as it is right now, if Osaka wants to play tennis at the French Open, then part of THAT JOB is to do interviews. Will it change in the future? Who knows?
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
12,740
Naomi Osaka understands media is part of the job. In reading her first statement it was clear her understanding was there was a fine for not doing that part of her job and she was willing to pay it. Her second statement makes it clear it was more than that, and that she suffered depression after a previous loss and had anxiety about having to face the media after another tough loss. The anxiety was so bad she withdrew from a major event costing herself a lot of money. Responding to her situation with an attitude that every job has aspects that suck is missing the point.
Maybe you should go back and re-read my first post on the subject, because I said a lot more than that.