Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty has been branded ‘a bully’ for his questioning of Naomi Osaka.
Osaka has found it difficult to deal with the press due to what she describes as social anxiety, and attempted to boycott them altogether at the French Open.
She was eventually forced to withdraw from the event instead, and she will play her first tennis since in Cincinnati this week.
She also fronted the press too, although she was reduced to tears by a question from Daugherty about how she reconciles her reluctance to speak to reporters with her use of media in other formats to boost her profile and income.
“My question, I guess, was you also have outside interests beyond tennis that are served by having the platform that the media presents to you,” Daughtery said after a brief exchange. ”
My question is how do you think you might be able to best balance the two?”
Osaka answered, explaining she is ‘trying to figure it out,’ although she was visibly upset by the question.
Afterwards her agent Stuart Duguid issued a statement to CNN, criticising Daughtery.
“The bully at the Cincinnati Enquirer is the epitome of why player media relations are so fraught right now,” he said.
“Everyone on that Zoom will agree that his tone was all wrong and his sole purpose was to intimidate. Really appalling behaviour.
“And this insinuation that Naomi owes her off court success to the media is a myth – don’t be so self-indulgent.”
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