SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, who has lived for years under the glare of the media spotlight, has voiced his support for tennis great Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open.
Taking to Twitter, Curry posted: “You shouldnt ever have to make a decison like this-but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be dont protect their own. major respect.”READ MORE: Atmospheric River: High Winds Topple Trees, Scaffolding in San Francisco
Osaka was first fined $15,000 after she refused to attend a post match press conference after her first round match at the French Open. She then stunned the tennis world by completely withdrawing from the event Monday.
The 23-year-old star, who was born in Japan and moved with her family to the U.S. at age 3, said she would “take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”
Tennis players are required to attend news conferences if requested to do so; Grand Slam rules allow for fines up to $20,000 if they don’t show up.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: More Than 147,000 Affected by Widespread Bay Area Outages
“On behalf of the Grand Slams, we wish to offer Naomi Osaka our support and assistance in any way possible as she takes time away from the court. She is an exceptional athlete and we look forward to her return as soon as she deems appropriate,” Tuesday’s statement from those in charge of the French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open said. “Mental health is a very challenging issue, which deserves our utmost attention. It is both complex and personal, as what affects one individual does not necessarily affect another. We commend Naomi for sharing in her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling and we empathize with the unique pressures tennis players may face.”
French tennis federation President Gilles Moretton, All England Club Chairman Ian Hewitt, U.S. Tennis Association President Mike McNulty and Tennis Australia President Jayne Hrdlicka pledged to work with players, the tours and media “to improve the player experience at our tournaments” while making sure the athletes all are on a “fair playing field, regardless of ranking or status.”
In a separate statement issued Tuesday to the AP via email, International Tennis Federation official Heather Bowler the sport will “review what needs to evolve” after Osaka “shone a light on mental health issues.”
“It’s in all our interests to ensure that we continue to provide a respectful and qualitative environment that enables all stakeholders to do their job to their best ability, without impacting their health, and for the good of the sport,” Bowler wrote.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Atmospheric River Crashes Onshore; Flood Warning Issued For Napa, Sonoma Counties
Various tennis players, including Serena Williams, offered support for Osaka and praised her for being forthcoming in her statement on social media Monday.