Gabby Douglass

Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas on Naomi Osaka’s Withdrawal: ‘If You Need to Step Back, That’s What You Need to Do’

Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas on Naomi Osaka’s Withdrawal: ‘If You Need to Step Back, That’s What You Need to Do’

Tennis phenom Naomi Osaka has been getting major support from people from all aspects of the world, from sports players, entertainers, and the average everyday citizen. Recently, another former Olympian has spoken on the mental health aspects of dealing with, not only the sport but the media while agreeing with the need to separate oneself from it from time to time.

According to For the Win, three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has spoken out in defense of Osaka’s decision for withdrawing from the French Open due to the mental health aspects of dealing with the demands placed on her from the organizers of the tournaments.

Douglass says in the interview, “Every person knows what they need to fix themselves, to heal themselves, and everyone’s different. For me, I know being an athlete, you go through so much already. If you need to step back, that’s what you need to do.”

Last week, Osaka had pulled out of the Berlin WTA 5000 grasscourt tournament citing she needed to focus on her mental health. The No. 2 ranked tennis player withdrew from the French Open two weeks ago after being fined $15,000 for not attending her post-match news conference after her victory against Patricia Maria Tig.

Douglass had also said, “Coming from that I focused on really healing myself, healing my mind and my body. I’m not on social media a lot because social media did damage to my personality, in a way. So I’ve just been taking years off of social media, off my phone, and really just kind of getting back to who I am.”

After receiving a fine of $15,000, Osaka took to social media to announce her withdrawal from the tournament as she has decided to focus on her mental health.

“Hey everyone, this isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.”

Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas on Naomi Osaka’s Withdrawal: ‘If You Need to Step Back, That’s What You Need to Do’

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