Meghan McCain and the other "The View" hosts shared their support for Naomi Osaka after she withdrew from the French Open, citing her struggles with mental and emotional health as the reason.
Meghan McCain praised the four-time Grand Slam singles champion Naomi Osaka for putting herself first. Osaka withdrew from the French Open, saying she has long struggled with depression and social anxiety.
Osaka's step back from the tournament follows her choice not to participate in the post-match press conference after her first-round win. She faced serious threats from the Grand Slam organizers if she didn't interact with the press.
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates winning her Women’s Singles Final match against Jennifer Brady of the United States during day 13 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 20, 2021 | Getty Images
A HOST OF SUPPORT
The 23-year-old professional tennis player received an abundance of support from "The View" hosts, with McCain, Whoopi Goldberg, and Joy Behar expressing their understanding and sympathy for Osaka.
"The View" posted snippets of an episode where they discussed the Osaka ordeal, addressing the difficulties of the foreign press and being a woman of color in the spotlight. McCain shared:
"I understand how Naomi Osaka is just like 'This isn't worth it anymore' and I think just because something was the standard of the past, doesn't mean it needs to be the standard going forward."
JOY'S TAKE ON IT
Behar also shared her take on Osaka's choice to step away from the French Open, saying it is understandable that she wouldn't want to face the critical foreign press after an intense and stressful match.
Although she respects Osaka for taking a stand for her mental health it's important to remember that the media plays a vital role.
The television show host also shared that she thought perhaps Osaka was struggling with depression because of the constant judgment and criticism she received from the media and had to address directly after each match.
While the tennis player received a plethora of support and understanding from the American media, the organizers of Roland Garros were not as gracious.
When Osaka decided not to participate in media conferences, she was given a $15,000 fine and was threatened with disqualification and bans from future tournaments. After Osaka withdrew, the organizers said:
"The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery."
Some of Osaka's fellow tennis stars have also spoken out about her stance against the media and the bullying they dish out to athletes, including Rafael Nadal and Billie Jean King.
King, one of the all-time best tennis players, shared that although she respects Osaka for taking a stand for her mental health it's important to remember that the media plays a vital role in the success of tennis.
Nadal shares a similar opinion to King and said that without the media's coverage of the sport, tennis would not be such a major sport across the world and wouldn't enjoy such popularity.
Rennae Stubbs, who used to be a star on the tennis court but is now working in the media, said that Osaka's point needs to be recognized by the press and that both sides need to learn from each other.