Billie Jean King revealed that she is torn between learning from both sides of the Naomi Osaka boycott situation. Naomi Osaka revealed that she would not face the media at the French Open citing mental health issues. She has been warned by tournament officials that she could be thrown out of the French Open if she continues to boycott the press. The decision of the four-time grand slam champion has not gone down with officials who have threatened her with a number of sanctions.
Billie Jean King, founder of the WTA has made no secret of her admiration of Naomi Osaka. King is a huge advocate of social justice and equality. She has won 39 Grand Slam titles and is split about her thoughts on the current situation.
“I fully admire and respect what Naomi is doing with her platform, so I am a little torn as I try to learn from both sides of the situation,” King wrote on Twitter. “While it’s important that everyone has the right to speak their truth, I have always believed that as professional athletes we have a responsibility to make ourselves available to the media.”
“In our day, without the press, nobody would have known who we are or what we thought. There is no question they helped build and grow our sport to what it is today,” she added. “I acknowledge things are very different now with social media and everyone having an immediate ability to speak their truth. The media still play an important role in telling our story. There is no question that the media needs to respect certain boundaries. But at the end of the day, it is important that we respect each other and we are in this together.”