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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Sports

Patrick McEnroe and Billie Jean King tell Naomi Osaka, 23, it's part of her job to speak...


Tennis veterans Patrick McEnroe and Billie Jean King weighed in on the controversy over Naomi Osaka's decision to boycott the press at the French Open, saying it's part of her job to speak to the press as the highest paid female athlete ever. 

The dispute began Wednesday ahead of the French Open when Osaka, 23, posted on social media that she would not be speaking to the media after playing because she wanted to protect her mental health and not subject herself to 'people who doubt her'. 

'I'm not going to do any press during Roland Garros. I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes' mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one. We're sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me. 

'I believe the whole situation is kicking a person while they're down and I don't understand the reasoning behind it.

'If organizations think they can just keep saying "do press or you're gonna be fired" and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes... then I just gotta laugh,' she said. 

She was fined $15,000 - which she says she is donating to a mental health charity - and was given a stern warning by all four Grand Slam tournaments that she could face expulsion if she continued to dodge the press.