Calm app supports Naomi Osaka, offers to pay players’ press conference fines

By: Christina Santi 

Last week, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open to prioritize her mental health. After the decision came, the 23-year-old tennis champion was fined $15,000 for skipping her post-match media interviews.  

Osaka’s exiting the tournament sparked a debate about if the sports industry does a good job prioritizing athletes’ mental health. Other athletes including tennis champ Venus Williams and race car driver Lewis Hamilton spoke about the mental health controversy.  Additionally, Grand Slam leaders announced that they would address the mental health issues among players.  

RELATED: ‘You’ll never light a candle to me’: Venus Williams responds to media after Osaka exit 

Meditation app Calm announced its support for Osaka, matching the fine with a hefty donation.  

“To support Naomi Osaka’s decision to prioritize her mental health, Calm is donating $15,000 to @LaureusSport in France, an organization doing incredible work in the mental health space to transform the lives of young people through the power of sport,” a tweet from the company read. 

 

The stress-reducing app did not stop there. It also offered to pay fines for other Grand Slam players who choose not to do interviews for mental health reasons.  

RELATED: Mental health best practices for the Black community, marginalized populations 

“But this is bigger than any individual player,” the company tweeted. “Calm will also pay the fine for players opting out of 2021 Grand Slam media appearances for mental health reasons, and we will match the fine with a $15,000 donation to @LaureusSport.” 

 

On Saturday, Osaka thanked her fans and those who supported her withdrawal from the French Open. “Just want to say thank you for all the love,” the four-time tennis champion wrote on Instagram. “Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it.” 

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