Experts Seek Understanding for Naomi Osaka after French Open Pullout

Sports

Tokyo, June 3 (Jiji Press)--Experts are calling for understanding for tennis star Naomi Osaka after she withdrew from the French Open and revealed that she has suffered bouts of depression.

Prejudice regarding mental health issues is still strong, and it is especially hard for top athletes with sponsors to reveal their conditions, they say.

The world No. 2 female professional tennis player withdrew from Roland Garros after organizers fined her 15,000 dollars following her boycotting of a mandatory press conference following her first-round match in this year's tournament and threatened further penalties if she repeatedly violates the media obligations. Osaka announced prior to the tournament that she would not be attending the press conferences due to the effects on her mental health.

"Even ordinary company workers need a tremendous amount of courage to reveal their mental health challenges," said Mariko Ukiyo, an official at the Japan Mental Trainer Association, who has given mental support to many athletes.

Yasuhiro Obata, an official of the National Federation of Associations of Families with Mental Illness in Japan, said that many people with depression do not tell those around them of their condition due to deep-rooted prejudices.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press