Relaxation app backs Naomi Osaka and pledges to pay fines to Grand Slam media
When Naomi Osaka first said she would not be speaking to the media during Roland Garros, she said she hoped the “considerable sum” she would be fined would go to charity.
A leading relaxation and meditation app is working to make this happen.
On Wednesday, the Calm app announced on Twitter that it would donate $ 15,000 to Laureas Sport, a youth sports charity, to support Osaka’s decision to withdraw from Roland Garros over mental health concerns, as well as to pay the fines for any tennis player who refuses to appear in the media for his sanity. In addition to paying the fines, Calm said he would match the $ 15,000 from another donation to Laureas Sport.
Mental health is health. 🎾
To support Naomi Osaka’s decision to prioritize her mental health, Calm donates $ 15,000 to @LaureusSport in France, an organization that does incredible work in mental health to transform the lives of young people through the power of sport. pic.twitter.com/C53ptXsks5
– Calm (@calme) June 2, 2021
Calm’s announcement is the last show of support for the world tennis star No.2 after deciding to retire from Roland-Garros.
Laureas Sport for Good is a sports organization for young people that works with 200 programs in 40 countries that “use sport as a tool or intervention to fight against violence, discrimination and disadvantages faced by young people”, according to its website. Among his many goals, Laureas says on his page that he promotes “healthy behavior change in young people and children and improves mental well-being”.
Ahead of the start of the French Open, Osaka said she would not be doing press conferences as she believes athletes’ mental health is often overlooked. After winning her first round clash, she did not speak to the media and was fined $ 15,000. Directors of the Four Majors also said in a statement that she could face tougher penalties for her prolonged absence at press conferences, even risking a default at Roland Garros and potential suspensions from future Grand Slam tournaments.
Osaka decided to withdraw from the tournament ahead of their second round clash, but said she would work with the Tour to discuss how mental health can be prioritized for athletes competing in Grand Slam tournaments.