Glare of the Forced Spotlight - Eastern Mirror
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Glare of the Forced Spotlight

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 14, 2021 11:29 pm

The western world always pretends to be the champion of ‘Rights’ and ‘Privacy’. But the fact remains that these two major ingredients necessary for a free world are often violated in that very part of the globe. The latest example is the recently concluded French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros in Paris which will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. This is why instead of the heroics of Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova, who have won the Men’s and Women’s singles titles respectively, the most discussed topic of this year’s French Open is the withdrawal of Japanese Tennis star and winner of four grand slam tournaments, Naomi Osaka from the tournament.

A prominent face in women’s Tennis in recent times, the 23-year-old player withdrew from the tournament expressing her inability to be under media scrutiny throughout the tournament. This is not the first time that Osaka has expressed her desire to avoid the customary media grilling during a tournament. In 2019, she abruptly ended her media interaction after the first round loss at Wimbledon. On that occasion, she publicly admitted that after the tragic exit from the most prestigious tournament in the world, she wanted to cry. It is amply clear that the Japanese sensation does not feel at home in the midst of scribes firing one salvo after another and instead wants her racket to do all the talking.

Strangely, instead of respecting Osaka’s stand the media bodies responsible for organising Tennis tournaments all over the world joined hands to threaten her with a ban from all major Tennis tournaments in the future. It’s a fact that players are bound to meet the press before and after a match during a tournament as per the agreement between the world Tennis governing body and the tournament organisers. There is a provision for a $15,000 fine for failing to adhere to that particular clause. To find a middle ground some have expressed the opinion that instead of withdrawing herself Osaka could have participated in the tournament by paying the fine.

Just as any other human being, Osaka is free to live her life as per her own will. No one can force her to do something which she finds uncomfortable as that can be treated as an infringement against her rights. It is astonishing that a clause which mandatorily requires players to appear before the press still exists. What is more worrying is the fact that while the media is free to ask any questions, players are not allowed to make their stand known on important but controversial matters. Such media interaction is without sanctity as this is clear violation of free speech norms. Hopefully, the self-claimed champions of ‘Rights’ and ‘Privacy’ will take note of the incident and Osaka will be allowed to participate in all Tennis tournaments without being obligated to interact with the media.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 14, 2021 11:29:22 pm