Mental health-focused app Calm has pledged its support to Naomi Osaka, offering to pay all fines for players who are punished for opting out of 2021 Grand Slam media appearances for mental health reasons.
The announcement comes following Osaka’s decision to withdraw from this year’s French Open after she was fined $15,000 USD for missing a press conference. Osaka had earlier stated her intention to avoid press obligations, citing her mental health and the lack of protection for athletes and their mental health.
Calm has pledged that, in support of Osaka, it will donate $15,000 USD to Laureus, a French organization that aims to support the mental health of young people and children through sport. Adding that “mental health is as just as important as physical health,” Calm revealed they will also match any fines with another $15,000 USD donation to Laureus.
In light of Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal, we looked at the relationship between athletes and the media.