Kravitz: Naomi Osaka deserves understanding — and the sports media aren’t the villains here

Kravitz: Naomi Osaka deserves understanding — and the sports media aren’t the villains here

Somehow, this Naomi Osaka-French Open contretemps has turned into a debate — a tired debate — about the role of media in terms of access to athletes. Why, the average fan asks, do we even need news conferences? What’s the point of going into a locker room, walking up to Mike Vanderjagt and asking him how he missed a playoff-tying field goal by roughly three miles? Who do these self-important, ink-stained interlopers think they are?

It’s turned into this wider debate, and it shouldn’t have turned into one at all.

This is simple: Osaka, who has spoken very openly about her mental health issues, doesn’t currently feel comfortable dealing with the media. She deserves grace, not ridicule. She deserves patience and understanding, not vitriol.

The media is not the heavy here, even though people love to cast us as such in an age in which we’ve been fully demonized.

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