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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

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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