Naomi Osaka’s agent calls reporter a ‘bully’ after tennis star makes press conference return


Naomi Osaka spoke to the media on Monday and got emotional while answering questions from reporters for the first time in three months. Osaka was speaking to reporters in Mason, Ohio for the Western & Southern Open. Osaka withdrew from the French Open in May citing her mental health and saying she did not want to participate in news conferences. 

The press conference began with Osaka being asked about her preparation and shifted to discussing how she plans to give the prize money she earns at the tournament to Haiti relief efforts. Osaka was visibly emotional at one point during the press conference, wiping her face and pulling her hat down. Osaka took a break after the moderator suggested they take a moment and after a few minutes she returned to finish the media appearance. 

Osaka and Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty were involved in the exchange that lead to her heightened emotions. Daugherty asked Osaka about her relationship with the media. Osaka’s agent Stuart Duguid later referred to the columnist as a “bully.”

Here is Duguid’s statement to CNN:

“The bully at the Cincinnati Enquirer is the epitome of why player / media relations are so fraught right now. Everyone on that Zoom will agree that his tone was all wrong and his sole purpose was to intimidate. Really appalling behavior. And this insinuation that Naomi owes her off court success to the media is a myth – don’t be so self-indulgent.”

And here’s the exchange between Daughtery and Osaka:

Daugherty“You’re not crazy about dealing with us, especially in this format. Yet you have a lot of outside interests that are served by having a media platform. I guess my question is how do you balance the two? And also do you have anything you’d like to share with us about what you did say to Simone Biles?” (Earlier in the press conference, Osaka said she had sent a message to Biles but said she wanted to give her space, “because…

Source : cbssports

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