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Tennis has just made it harder on people with mental challenges who are afraid to get help

Tennis has just made it harder on people with mental challenges who are afraid to get help because they feel they’ll be punished at work or looked down upon.My heart goes out to Naomi Osaka (as a media guy speaking). I think there’s a difference between athletes who are jerks and arrogant who shun the press and a thoughtful young woman who says she has mental issues after interviews. Me, I’d take her at her word, let her play, and write about what she does as an athlete. Years ago, I interviewed Bo Jackson for a major magazine when he was in college. He had a terrible stutter and his nervousness was apparent. I worked with him, and he gave a very good interview. Later, he beat his stutter as I had also after developing a lesser stutter at the Seminary in h.s. I’d make an exception her her and would allow her to even email answers back if that made her more comfortable. Or, I’d let her keep quiet and skip the interview. She earned her right to compete.
And in July 2019, after an early exist at Wimbledon, she said to the news moderator that she wanted permission to leave the room because she was about to cry. WE have all this talk about helping people with mental health issues.
And Tennis administrators just kicked them and Naomi to the curb. –Hank Nuwer

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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