Hang Up and Listen

The Naomi Osaka Withdraws Edition

Slate’s sports podcast on Osaka and the French Open, bad behavior at NBA arenas, and Simone Biles.

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Episode Notes

Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin talk about what Naomi Osaka’s French Open withdrawal reveals about athletes and mental health and athletes and the press. They also discuss the spate of atrocious fan behavior in NBA arenas, and Rebecca Schuman joins for a conversation about Simone Biles’ latest feat of gymnastics excellence.

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• Citing “long bouts of depression,” Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after a dispute with organizers over attending press conferences.

• In the New Yorker, Louisa Thomas wrote that Osaka “has always been open about struggling with pressure and with the intensity of the attention that she receives.”

Osaka broke down after winning her first major title in 2018, when Serena Williams argued with an official.

• Last month, Osaka told reporters that she is “just that not comfortable” playing on clay, the surface at the French Open.

• Sportico estimated that Osaka earned more than $55 million from prize money and endorsements last year, making her the world’s highest-paid female athlete.

• The New York Times profiled Osaka’s endorsement prowess under the headline, “How Naomi Osaka Became Everyone’s Favorite Spokesmodel.”

• In Slate, Alex Kirshner proposed a way forward for athletes and the press.

• In the Ringer in 2018, Bryan Curtis wrote about how NBA news conferences had morphed into theater.

• The New York Times’ Jonathan Abrams wrote that “ugly NBA fan behavior is back.”

• Ja Morant’s family was subjected to racial taunting in Utah.

• Celtics general manager Danny Ainge says he’s “never heard” anything about racist fan behavior in Boston.

Follow Rebecca Schuman on Twitter.

• Schuman on Simone Biles’ performance at the U.S. Classic.

• Earlier this year, Schuman wrote about Biles’ new vault, the Yurchenko double pike.

• Juliet Macur in the New York Times on the controversy over how Biles’ vault is being scored.

Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Oksana Chusovitina:

Stefan’s Oksana Chusovitina: Lee Evans, who shattered the world record in the 400 meters at the 1968 Olympics and staged a quiet protest on the medal stand, died last month at age 74.

On this week’s bonus segment, Joel, Stefan, and Josh continue their conversation about Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open and what comes next for Osaka and the press.

Podcast production and edit by Margaret Kelley.

You can email us at hangup@slate.com.

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About the Show

A weekly sports discussion show from Slate. Hang Up and Listen features Slate personalities Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin.

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