Naomi Osaka: Pundits discuss French Open withdrawal
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Naomi Osaka has blocked Piers Morgan on Twitter following a slew of tweets sent by the TV host criticising the young tennis star. The former Good Morning Britain presenter has previously slammed the four-time Grand Slam champion for her decision to skip press conferences to protect her mental health.
Piers revealed that he had been blocked by the former world number one after American journalist Megyn Kelly said she received the same treatment from Osaka following an online spat.
The 23-year-old tennis star blocked the pair yesterday (July 19) following their criticisms of her appearance on recent magazine covers for Sports Illustrated, Vogue Japan and Time.
Quoting a tweet from the American journalist revealing she had been blocked by Osaka, the controversial TV presenter added: “Yep, and she just blocked me too. The only media Ms Osaka wants to tolerate are sycophantic magazine editors telling her how perfect she is.”
In a since-deleted tweet, the defending US Open champion hit back at Megyn for questioning her decision to appear on the covers following her decision to withdraw from the French Open and Wimbledon for her mental health.
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She wrote: “Seeing as you’re a journalist I would’ve assumed you would take the time to research what the lead times are for magazines, if you did you would’ve found out I shot all of my covers last year.
“Instead our first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan.”
Osaka originally announced that she would not be coming to press conferences ahead of the French Open at the end of May.
Within her statement, posted to social media, she said: “I’m writing this to say I’m not going to do any press during Roland Garros.
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I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.”
After the Grand Slams responded, threatening her with sanctions including disqualification, she subsequently withdrew from the tournament and from upcoming Wimbledon.
Piers has since continued to attack the tennis player for her decision, labelling her “narcissistic” in a Daily Mail column slating the star for “weaponizing mental health to justify her boycott” shortly after the French Open incident.
Continuing his tirade, the former GMB host slammed the star after her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover was revealed yesterday, tweeting: “ANOTHER magazine cover for brave inspiring Naomi! No wonder she had no time for beastly media press conferences!”
After Osaka also revealed her cover for Vogue Hong Kong, the TV host also wrote: “Another day, another magazine cover… great to see brave inspiring Naomi continuing to use the media to promote herself whilst simultaneously trashing the media…and just as well she stopped playing tennis for a bit – she’d have never had time for all the photo shoots!”
However, many were quick to defend the Grand Slam champion, who recently released a Netflix documentary following her journey on and off the court.
One fan said: “Dude, watch her documentary on Netflix. You think she grew up wanting to do half of this stuff? All she wanted was to earn money for her family and be a champion. Give her a break and some respect FFS.”
Osaka has not commented on any of Piers Morgan’s tweets since he began his criticisms of the star at the end of May.
The tennis star will be hoping to win Gold at the upcoming Olympic Games in her home country of Japan, where she is taking part after a string of withdrawals from other top players including Serena Williams and Angie Kerber.
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