Calm, a meditation and sleep app, has pledged to cover the fines for Grand Slam players like Naomi Osaka who have chosen to opt out of interviews for mental health reasons.
via: The Root
In light of the ongoing Naomi Osaka saga, in which the four-time Grand Slam champ withdrew from the French Open after she was fined for declining to participate in media interviews, much has been said about mental health and how fiercely it should be protected—both in and outside of the workplace.
Naomi Osaka is demonstrating the power of refusal. To refuse work at the expense of our health, wellness, & more. To refuse humiliation under the guise of professionalism. Refusal is beautiful. It’s even better when we do it collectively. Support her and workers who aren’t rich.
— Breya M. Johnson (@TheBlackLayers) May 31, 2021
But instead of waiting for tournament officials to reach a compromise and do right by the highest-paid female athlete in the world—who also just so happens to be the second-highest-ranking woman in the sport—mindfulness app Calm has leaped into the fray and is offering a solution.
“Mental health is health,” the company announced on Twitter. “To support Naomi Osaka’s decision to prioritize her mental health, Calm is donating $15,000 to @LaureusSport in France, an organization doing incredible work in the mental health space to transform the lives of young people through the power of sport.”
In a subsequent tweet, Calm continued: “But this is bigger than any individual player. Calm will also pay the fine for players opting out of 2021 Grand Slam media appearances for mental health reasons, and we will match the fine with a $15,000 donation to @LaureusSport.”
But this is bigger than any individual player.
Calm will also pay the fine for players opting out of 2021 Grand Slam media appearances for mental health reasons, and we will match the fine with a $15,000 donation to @LaureusSport.#MentalHealthIsHealth ?
— Calm (@calm) June 2, 2021
Osaka drew the ire of tournament officials when she skipped a news conference out of her concern for her mental health following her match with 63rd-ranked Patricia Maria Tig in the opening round of the French Open. She was assessed a $15,000 fine for doing so, and after being threatened with further sanctions should her media blackout continue, Osaka withdrew from the tournament entirely as not to become “a distraction.”
Calm App is putting their money where their mouth is.