Tennis Stars Value The Role of the Independent News Media
The tennis legend Billie Jean King, who is an advocate for social justice and equality, has praised the role of the Press in boosting the game of tennis.
As a result, professional athletes have a ‘responsibility to make ourselves available to the media.” “In our day, without the press, nobody would have known who we are or what we thought. There is no question they helped build and grow our sport to what it is today.
King, the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association, has made no secret of the fact that she is a great admirer of Japan’s Osaka who withdrew from the French Tennis Open because of what she described as the mental toll of attending press conferences after games.
In a social media post, King, who won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles, admits being split in her thoughts on Osaka’s stance. King stresses the fact the media helped “build and support” the pioneers of women’s tennis, called the ‘Original 9’, who formed the first-ever professional women’s tennis tour.
King points to the fact the media helped “build and support” the pioneers of women’s tennis, called the ‘Original 9’, who formed the first-ever professional women’s tennis tour.
“I fully admire and respect what Naomi is doing with her platform, so I am a little torn as I try to learn from both sides of the situation,” King wrote on Twitter.
“While it’s important that everyone has the right to speak their truth, I have always believed that as professional athletes we have a responsibility to make ourselves available to the media.”
“In our day, without the press, nobody would have known who we are or what we thought. There is no question they helped build and grow our sport to what it is today.”
“Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media.
I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.
Rafael Nadal said on Friday that without the media “we will not be the athletes that we are today”
World No. 2 Osaka caused a stir at Roland Garros by announcing that she will refuse to carry out any media activity at the tournament, claiming she fears the effect of them on her mental health.
Nadal, the 13-time French Open champion, said that even though he respected Osaka’s decision, media coverage has driven the success of the sport.
“I understand her, but for me without the press, without the people who are writing the news and achievements that we are having around the world probably we will not be the athletes that we are today,” said Nadal, a 20-time major winner.
“We won’t have the recognition that we have around the world, and we will not be that popular.”
Echoing Nadal, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic too said that facing the media can sometimes be “very unpleasant” but it is part of tennis.
Djokovic said Osaka “probably (had) her reasons why” but fell short of endorsing the four-time Grand Slam champion’s move.
“I understand that press conferences sometimes can be very unpleasant,” Djokovic said after beating Federico Coria 6-1, 6-0 to reach the Belgrade Open semi-finals on Thursday.
“And it’s not something that you enjoy, especially if you lose a match. But it is part of the sport and part of your life on the Tour.”
Some of Osaka’s rivals also questioned her decision with 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty saying media conferences are “part of the job”.
Reigning women’s champion Iga Swiatek said: “It gives us a chance to explain our perspective, so I think it’s good.”
Retired Formula One champion Nico Rosberg, former tennis player Zina Garrison and British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith have, however, voiced their support for Osaka.