The world number two tennis player Naomi Osaka has been hit with a $US15,000 ($20,000) fine for boycotting the press conference after her round one match at the French Open.
Osaka announced ahead of the tournament that she would not be taking part in any media during the tournament, citing mental health concerns.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 26, 2021
Despite announcing the boycott ahead of time, the tournament organisers went through with fining Osaka for failing to meet her contractual obligations.
If The Grand Slam Board is to continue fining Osaka $20,000 after each match, the fines could easily reach beyond $100,000 if she is to make it into the second week of the tournament.
However, the organisers have since hinted at stronger repercussions.
“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations, she would be exposing herself to possible further code of conduct infringement consequences,” the organisers said in a statement.
“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.”
The Grand Slam Board suggested Osaka gains an advantage over her opponents by not partaking in press conferences.
“There is nothing more important than ensuring no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honour their commitments,” they said.
Osaka did agree to an on-court TV interview after her match, telling the camera: “Hopefully the more I play, the better I will become.”
She also shared a Tweet on Monday morning.
anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 30, 2021
Despite the incoming fines Osaka can expect if she continues her boycott, the tennis star reportedly raked in around $US50 million in the past 12 months from commercial endorsements.
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