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Plot twist. Sporting superstars are only human | TICKER VIEWS

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Tennis superstar, Naomi Osaka, shocked the world when she withdrew from the French Open, citing mental health struggles.

Should elite athletes be allowed to forfeit press responsibilities?

According to AFL legend and mental health advocate Wayne Schwass, yes. He believes it was a brave move from Osaka, and draws much needed attention to others suffering in silence.

“I applaud her for having the maturity to prioritise her mental health an emotional wellbeing.

It’s a timely reminder, you can have a lot of money, a lot of fame, but it doesn’t mean you’re immune from these kinds of conditions”

Wayne schwass

Osaka’s decision to refuse the traditional press conference came with mixed emotions. The Tennis Federation initially responded with expressions of disappointment. Grand Slam officials went as far as threatening Osaka from future tournaments. There’s no doubt the media and the sponsors are a driving financial force behind the Tennis going ahead. With this, they consistently expect commitment from the players and the media demand comes with the role. Journalists are doing their job, by asking the questions.

But a few questions to consider:

If someone at this level is vulnerable enough to speak up, is criticising that person the right response?

Will shaming Osaka deter others who are suffering, from speaking up?

If Osaka presented with a physical health concern, would she have received a different response

In sports, mental health, is often not given the same recognition or compassion as physical injuries. There are no plaster casts or crutches that can be used to signal mental illness. In a bold move, more athletes at this level are sharing their silent mental health struggles. Many sports now incorporate programs to support players and athletes mental health. If you consider the NFL, the NBA, the AFL, swimming or any other sporting league, there are many reports of athletes struggling with their mental health.

Schwass believes any criticism leads to discrimination… which leads to stigma… and it needs to stop.

“We don’t discriminate against people that have other legitimate health conditions, so we must stop doing it to people that have legitimate mental health conditions.”

Wayne Schwass

Naomi Osaka, a 23-year-old tennis superstar, a young woman, but most of all a human. So, let’s hope she finds peace and health in all aspects of her life. Let’s stand with her in support during the tough times, just as we would stand with her in celebration of another Grand Slam Title.

If you, or anyone you know is struggling, please contact your local helpline.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Chiefs secure back-to-back Super Bowl titles against 49ers

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Will Patrick Mahomes be hailed as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history? 

The Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious once again, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 to claim their second consecutive championship.

The high-stakes game kept fans on the edge of their seats as both teams showcased exceptional skill and determination.

The 49ers, known for their strong defence, put up a formidable fight, but the Chiefs’ offensive prowess ultimately proved too much to handle.

STAR PLAYER

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs with a stellar performance, showcasing his prowess with strategic passes and crucial touchdowns.

MASTER CHIEFS

As the confetti rained down on the Chiefs, celebrations erupted both on the field and among fans worldwide, marking another historic moment in the team’s legacy.

With this victory, the Chiefs solidified their status as a dominant force in the NFL, leaving fans eagerly anticipating what the future holds for this powerhouse team.

The Chiefs join the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s and New England Patriots of the 2000s and 2010s as the only NFL teams to have won three Super Bowls in a five-year span.

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Sport

Amazon targets bankrupt Diamond Sports for streaming rights

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Amazon considers acquisition of Diamond Sports as part of its plan to expand streaming portfolio

Sources suggest that Amazon is eyeing the streaming rights for major sports leagues including MLB, NBA, and NHL, signalling the tech giant’s strategic move into the lucrative world of live sports broadcasting.

The potential deal with Diamond Sports would provide Amazon with a significant foothold in the sports streaming market, allowing the company to offer a comprehensive range of live sports content to its Prime Video subscribers.

This move aligns with Amazon’s broader strategy to diversify its entertainment offerings and attract a wider audience. The acquisition of streaming rights for popular sports leagues could make Amazon a major player in the competitive streaming landscape.

Industry experts speculate that Amazon’s interest in Diamond Sports is driven by the desire to capture the growing market for live sports streaming, a segment that has gained immense popularity in recent years.

The acquisition would not only give Amazon access to a vast library of sports content but also position the company as a formidable competitor to traditional broadcasters in the live sports broadcasting arena.

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Disney’s sport streaming goals

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Disney’s ESPN may achieve a $24 billion valuation; potential suitors could involve Apple and Verizon.

In a recent financial report, Bank of America suggests that Disney’s ESPN could be on the verge of reaching a staggering $24 billion valuation. This eye-catching figure has sparked interest from potential buyers, with technology giants Apple and telecommunication leader Verizon being touted as likely contenders.

The valuation surge is attributed to ESPN’s successful digital transition, with streaming services, exclusive sports content, and expanding international markets contributing to its growth. Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s sports networks further boosted ESPN’s portfolio, making it an attractive asset for prospective buyers.

Apple, known for its foray into content creation with Apple TV+, could leverage ESPN’s sports content to expand its media empire. Meanwhile, Verizon, with its vast telecom infrastructure and distribution capabilities, could use ESPN to enhance its content offerings and engage a broader customer base.

This development marks a pivotal moment in ESPN’s history, and its future owner could redefine the landscape of sports broadcasting. As the valuation continues to climb, all eyes are on the potential suitors and the ensuing negotiations.

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