Naomi Osaka will not be participating in any news conferences during the upcoming French Open, she announced in a post on social media on Wednesday.
Osaka, a four-time major champion and the No. 2-ranked women’s tennis player in the world, said her decision was motivated by her mental health.
“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,” she wrote. “We’re often 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.”
In her post, Osaka shared video clips of fellow women’s tennis player Venus Williams and former NFL player Marshawn Lynch, presumably to emphasize the fraught relationship between athletes and the media. Williams was supportive of Osaka in the comments, writing, “Girl, do you. Your life is yours to live!”
Players can be fined up to $20,000 for skipping a news conference at a major. Osaka said she hoped her fines would be put toward a mental health charity.
“If the organizations think that they can just keep saying, ‘Do press or you’re gonna be fined,’ and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are at the centerpiece of their [corporation], then I just gotta laugh,” she said.
The main draw at the French Open gets underway Sunday in Paris, with the draw reveal ceremony scheduled for Thursday. Osaka has never advanced past the third round at the event.