Naomi Osaka’s Team Slams Reporter’s “Really Appalling Behavior” During News Conference

A reporter who participated in Naomi Osaka‘s latest news conference appears to have reinforced the athlete’s decision to limit interactions with the media.

On Monday, Aug. 16, the tennis star spoke with press ahead of her appearance at the Ohio WTA tournament, before stepping away in tears after Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Paul Daugherty asked a “fairly aggressively toned question about how she benefits from a high-media profile but doesn’t like talking to media,” according to tweets from The New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg. The sports writer noted, “Osaka tried to engage, but after her answer began crying.”

Following the incident, Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid, released a statement to E! News slamming the reporter who posed the question. “The bully at The Cincinnati Enquirer is the epitome of why player / media relations are so fraught right now,” Duguid stated. “Everyone on that Zoom will agree that his tone was all wrong and his sole purpose was to intimidate. Really appalling behavior.”

Duguid added, “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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