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Mohammad Kaif Supports Naomi Osaka over Media Boycott Stance and Roland Garros Exit

Naomi Osaka and Mohammad Kaif (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Naomi Osaka and Mohammad Kaif (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Mohammad Kaif took to social media to say that it is high time that we should acknowledge the issue of mental health in sports and more so in tennis.

Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif extended support to tennis superstar Naomi Osaka’s stand on boycotting media conferences at Roland Garros. The cricketer backed the tennis player by tweeting that players should be allowed to avoid the media if they are not in good health.

Taking to Twitter, Kaif remarked that it is high time that we should acknowledge the issue of mental health in sports and more so in tennis. He added that in cricket if a captain is not in a good headspace, he can be backed by a coach or a senior but in tennis, there is no such provision as the game is of a single player. “Let’s be sensitive, players in their weak moments should be allowed to avoid media,” he further stated.

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Osaka grabbed headlines when she didn’t attend the press conference after her first-round win on Sunday at French Open. The association levied a fine of $15000 and even warned her of expulsion from the tournament. However, the Japanese tennis star withdrew from the tournament on Monday. In a statement released on Twitter, Osaka said she never wanted to be a distraction in the tournament and would never trivialize mental term lightly. She has been suffering long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and had a really hard time coping with that. She further stated that she is an introvert and gets huge waves of anxiety before the world’s media.

The tennis superstar has been backing support from other sportsmen too including Coco Gauff, Serena Williams and Billie Jean. Serena said that she feels for Naomi. Not everyone is the same. Everyone has an individual way of handling pressures and the best one can do is to let her deal with the issues her own way.

Whereas Billie tweeted that it’s incredibly brave for Osaka to reveal her struggle with depression. Right now, what’s important is to give her space and time she needs.

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first published:June 02, 2021, 18:53 IST