Naomi Osaka fined $15K for not talking to media at French Open

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 after not talking to the media after winning her first match of the French Open, Roland Garros said in a statement Sunday.

Tournament officials acknowledged Osaka said she would not participate in mandatory interviews at the tournament but said that if she keeps on skipping interviews with the media, she will have to forfeit the tournament and face a future suspension as well. 

“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences,” the statement read. “As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.).” 

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Tournament officials added they checked with Osaka on her mental well-being and asked her to reconsider her decision to not speak with the press. 

Osaka, one of the Associated Press’ 2020 athletes of the year, said on social media Wednesday that she would not speak to the media at the French Open, citing her mental health. 

Osaka said in her post that she hopes any such penalties will go to a mental health charity.

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Osaka, who has used her platform to speak out on social justice and police reform in the U.S., posted a tweet on Sunday saying “anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable.”