General Article Do sports stars need protection from media intrusion?

Topic Selected: Sport Book Volume: 411

Are sports stars pampered youth not mature enough to handle wealth and fame? Or do journalists pick on them? The truth is in the middle.

By Paul Radford

Until Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open Tennis tournament last year after declining to attend the obligatory post-match press conference on the grounds of protecting her mental health, relatively little attention was paid to the potentially negative impact of media scrutiny on sports stars.

The Japanese player’s stance, which cost her a $15,000 fine, has brought about a relaxation of the rigid rule, common to many sports, that every match should be followed by a press conference.

This year’s tournament will offer alternative access in a so-called mixed zone where a player can talk to a handful of journalists in a more informal atmosphere.

Uneasy truce or solution to a growing problem of tensions between athletes and reporters? Are sports stars a set of pampered young people who have achieved wealth and fame before they are m...

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