“She Didn’t Feel Comfortable Doing Something…”: Lewis Hamilton Shows Society the Mirror With Strong Verbal Support for Tennis Star Naomi Osaka

Published 06/23/2022, 10:22 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 27, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton speaks to the media ahead of practice REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Lewis Hamilton has used his platform incredibly over the years by taking a stand whenever he sees fit. But the Mercedes man was also a newcomer to the daunting world of Formula 1 at a very young age. And being in the limelight and under a microscope from a young age is intimidating.

Hamilton is an outspoken advocate of mental health and spoke in favor of tennis player Naomi Osaka. Osaka, the 24-year-old, refused to speak to the media at the French Open. Her non-participation in the post-match news conference resulted in a dispute with the organizers. Osaka withdrew herself from the tournament and they fined her $15,000 for her noncooperation.

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The reaction from the organizing committee shocked everyone with their fine. Hamilton, to support Osaka, said, “For her own personal health she didn’t feel comfortable doing something, and the backlash is ridiculous.”

He added. “People not taking into account that she’s a human being, and she’s saying, ‘I’m not well enough to do this right now.’ I think that needs to be really looked into as to how people have reacted to that, and they should be supporting and uplifting to her.”

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Osaka opened up to her fans on Instagram regarding her mental health. The Mercedes man feels despite the backlash we should applaud Osaka for her bravery. Opening up about the struggles a person is going through is always difficult. But the organizing committee could’ve handled her non-compliance with media commitments better. And a fine was definitely not the way to go!

Daniel Ricciardo in agreement with Lewis Hamilton

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Ricciardo was under a lot of pressure, especially from the media, with the dip in his form. The Australian was feeling the full wrath of the media with a host of speculations being made about his future. No matter how thick-skinned one is, eventually one negative comment or thought seeps in.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 12: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 look on during a press conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 12, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

And Mclaren man pointed out exactly that when he said, “I think in general, the media have to be just careful sometimes — I don’t think this is the situation now — but how they write things. People can be quite sensitive, and feelings are real.”

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Watch this story: Pregnancy Restrictions Stopped Lindsey Vonn From Taking F1 Deal To Join Lewis Hamilton

The world has come out to support Osaka while opposing the actions taken against her. This showcases the empathy that can go around despite all the negativity in sport.

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Mahim Suhalka

298 articles

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. This Sports Management post-graduate is an ardent supporter of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team and their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton. The fact that Lewis dominated one of the most expensive sports in the world for all these years, despite his humble beginnings, has been a huge inspiration for Mahim and has made him a tenured fan of the competitive sport itself.

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