At a press conference this Thursday, Lewis Hamilton praised the “courage” of Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from Roland Garros after refusing to participate in press conferences to preserve her mental health. The British pilot calls “those who have the power to question themselves”.
After the controversy sparked by her media boycott, world number 2 Naomi Osaka has decided to withdraw from Roland Garros. The Japanese is going through a difficult period on a personal level and wants to spend the next few weeks away from the tennis courts. Like several athletes recently, Lewis Hamilton praised the “courage” of the Japanese player after refusing to participate in press conferences to protect himself mentally. The British pilot asks “those who have the power to question themselves”.
“I think she’s incredible and I applaud him for his courage because he asks those in the power (Grand Slam tennis tournaments, editor’s note) to question themselves and rethink how they reacted, because fining someone who talks about their mental health is not correct, “said the Formula 1 driver at a press conference ahead of the Azerbaijani Grand Prix in Baku from Friday to Friday. Sunday.
“I think they could have handled it better and I hope they will do a great introspection to find a way to do better in the future,” continued the seven-time world champion. “As athletes, we push ourselves to the limit but we are human beings,” he insisted.
“Vulnerable and anxious” at Roland-Garros
Naomi Osaka announced last Wednesday on Twitter that she would not attend press conferences at Roland Garros to preserve her sanity. Sunday, after her victory in the first round, she did not appear in front of the media and was fined 15,000 dollars (12,300 euros).
The organizers of the four Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open) threatened to exclude her from the Paris Major, or even the other three, if she persisted. Something they did not have to do since Monday evening, she announced on social networks to withdraw from the tournament where she should have played her second round on Wednesday.
“I think the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well being is that I step back so that everyone can refocus on tennis,” she tweeted. In her post, she explained that she “went through long periods of depression since the 2018 US Open, ”the first of his four Grand Slam titles.
“When I was young I myself was thrown into the lion’s den without any advice or support,” Hamilton recalled. hui and I don’t think it’s the best for them. “