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Brett Favre Says Naomi Osaka Should Toughen Up And Talk to Media

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After citing mental health-related issues behind skipping press coverage at the 2021 French Open, tennis player Naomi Osaka has inspired former Packers great Brett Favre to give his comments on the state of both Osaka and athletes that are opting out of media interviews.

Favre said the following on his podcast related to the decision made by Osaka and its wave of influence throughout sports, “I do think athletes are held to a different level and a different standard, and rightfully so, because of the money we make.” Favre added, “We should talk to the media. I’m not saying you have to; you chose to be fined or not. There wasn’t anything that if I chose not to speak I would be fined, so I chose not to speak and was fined $25,000, and then that was written into the rule book after that.”

After skipping the media session, Osaka was fined $15,000. Her estimated net worth is roughly $60 million.

Osaka claimed that a “bout of depression” prevented her from speaking with reporters. While many have reached out in support, Favre and other personalities surrounding the issue have declared the move as more of a play based on privilege granted to athletes with a platform.

Osaka’s rise to prominence skyrocketed during the 2018 French Open, where she defeated Serena Williams. Osaka has won a total of two Women’s Tennis Association championship titles and was ranked as a top-10 worldwide female tennis player (#7) in 2018. She is now the No. 2 ranked women’s player in the world, behind Australia’s top-ranked Ashleigh Barty.

Barty gave her own response to the press scandal, admitting that answering reporters is all “part of the job.”

Osaka responded to the controversy at the Open by withdrawing from the event and releasing the following statement:

“The best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.” She added, “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.”

Favre’s commentary, rooted in perspective from a previous generation of athletes, rings true among the core fanbase of the sports world that still favors tenacity over theatrics—no matter the sport or athlete.

While Favre has supported the discussion around mental health for struggling athletes, both current and retired, Osaka’s controversy related to the media comes at a time when athletes often forego simple responsibilities of being a professional in pursuit of a brand, and even politics.

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Guided by Kevin Harlan on one shoulder, Eli Manning on the other, Alejandro joins the OutKick community with an authentic passion for sports, pop culture, America, and episodes of Jeopardy!

 

Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

8 Comments

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  1. When Farve was 22, he was some kid playing at Southern Mississippi, staying drunk all the time. He sure as hell wasn’t one of the best women’s tennis players in the world. He’s the kind of guy who tells people suffering mental health challenges to shake it off and buck up. He’s sure a swell, supportive guy.

    • Osaka is 100% full of shit. She just doesn’t like responding to possible criticism after a so-so or bad round. She had no problems talking to 5000 fans in the stands after her 1st round win……because the mic was in her hands and it was a one way conversation……She’s just a mental midget, like LeBron and Kyrie. She wants to embrace her victimhood.

    • LoL at the drunk part.. Gotta push back on this weak take tho. Pretty sure Favre took more concussions by age 22 then Osaka. And dude played in an era where QB’s could be destroyed w/out 15 yards and and automatic 1st down tacked on. But Farve has no right to speak on mental health and shaking things off… Dude played for like 20 years w/out missing a game but we feel bad for Osaka who had to withdraw from the French Open?

      oK

    • In todays world, Favre could declare himself to be a women’s tennis player and the woke world would embrace it.
      Favre doesn’t understand what it’s like to be an athlete today, neither does Osaka. In today’s NFL, Favre could still be playing at his current age throwing for 6000 yards and 50 touchdowns each year. He wouldn’t have a broken body because QB’s today can’t be touched. Look at today’s pansy ass QB’s, they should be playing flag football. If a defender gets within 2 yards of them, they’re whining about roughing.

  2. Playing the victim. That has become the woke’s calling card. Instead of being ashamed of being the victim these assholes embrace it. Really, really weak character.

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