MIKE DICKSON: I sympathize with Naomi Osaka’s plight, but talking is part of the deal – no one is bigger than the game and the Grand Slams are right to reaffirm that principle
- Sharing your opinion is an important part of the great bargain of professional sports
- There’s a reason every player who makes it to the main draw gets £50,000
- The four Grand Slams have shown an unusual display of strength and solidarity
There’s a reason anyone who makes it to the main tournament for the French Open singles takes home a minimum of £ 50,000.
It is part of the big bargain of professional sport, with rights holders and sponsors spending large sums to be associated with a major international event.
Sharing your thoughts is part of that transaction, and every player signs up for it.
Naomi Osaka boycotted the press at the French Open, but ultimately, talking is part of the deal
The world’s number 2 defeated Patricia Tig 6-4, 7-6 in her first round at Roland Garros on Sunday
The four Grand Slams understand this very well, which is why, in an unusual display of strength and solidarity, they have proceeded to threaten Naomi Osaka with a ban from their tournaments.
Of course, there should be sympathy for anyone struggling with their mental health. After a crushing year, there will be plenty in tennis, and many millions far beyond its narrow confines, severely affected in various ways.
The message here, from a sports parish, is simple: no one is bigger than the game. The Grand Slams are right to deliver that.
Osaka released a statement earlier this week saying she would boycott the press at the French Open, with mental health concerns being the reason behind her decision to do so.