Many changes occurred in professional sports over the years. One that I became familiar with watching the sports news was the after-game comments by the coaches and the players in the NF, most notably Bill Belichick. After winning a game he sits there glum faced repeating how the team played well but had to improve especially the coaching staff while the reporters asked him inane questions; after losing a game he would sit there glum faced repeating how everyone has to improve and do better especially the coaching staff. He could very well have been replaced by a large bump on a log for all the information he gave out.
Then it was not only the coaches but some of the players who would have to face the reporters. After a win they would give credit to the other guys; after a loss they would say we got to play better next time. Again some bumps on a log could easily have replaced them. If after watching the game if you could not figure what went right or wrong you certainly were not going to learn anything from them. It was obvious they would rather be anyplace but where they are answering stupid questions but there they are because of their subservience to the owners.
The owners rake in billions, the players can only rake in so much with a phony salary cap – supposed to make the teams more even but really intended to limit the money the owners must pay out. Unlike what the owners or officials think, no one comes to the game because of them but because they want to watch the players play. The owners and officials treat the players like animals at the circus putting them on display. Then, to continue exploiting them, they make them sit and face the media.
Now finally someone at the height of her career has stood up and said enough of parading me around like a show dog. I want to do my talking on the court and not in front of a bunch of media types who probably never played the game. What I did and thought is for me to know. After a game I want my privacy and no interference from anyone else. I don’t like speaking in public. Leave me alone and let me play my game.
This person is four-time Grand Slam tournament winner 23-year-old Naomi Osaka. She announced before the French Open she would not talk to the press after a match because it was not good for her mental health. True to her word she didn’t. She was fined $15,000 dollars. The leaders of the four Grand Slam tournaments threatened that continued disobedience to her masters may end up with her being banned from all the Grand Slam tournaments.
Rather than understanding Naomi Osaka has a mental health issue with the dog and pony shows, the heads of the four-time Grand Slam tournament: Jayne Hrdlicka, 58, an American businesswomen and former Bain Capital associate (friend of Romney?) a non tennis player who heads Tennis Australia; Gilles Moretton, 63, of France who last played in 1984; Britain’s Ian Hewitt, 72, retired lawyer and ex-Hampshire county player; and Mike McNulty of Louisiana in his 70s another retired lawyer who as a son won a father/son competition in Louisiana, decided to come down hard on Naomi saying she had: “an unfair advantage over another, . . . if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honor their commitments.” How does skipping a post-match media meet give anyone an unfair advantage when the game is played a a day or two later on a tennis court?
In other words, these old folks who never played at the level which they now oversee, don’t particularly care about young Naomi’s mental health problems. Under the disguise of unfair advantage” rather than the truth that money from the TV is the driving force she is threatened in her livelihood.
Naomi is a great tennis player. She should be allowed to show her stuff on the tennis court. That is what she prepared herself for all her life. Not only should she not be forced like a serf to do media show-ups, no other professional athlete should be treated as a pawn. Their bailiwick is on the field, the ice, or the court. They should stop being abused and given the right to show up or not.
As you know Naomi withdrew from the tournament. She may or may not come back. Not having her play is a great loss to the sport. She showed the courage of her beliefs and stood her ground. She makes all the other professional players who hate to do it but dutifully parade themselves in front of the media look like wimps.