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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.

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Electronic Entertainment Expo stuns gamers!

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Gaming fans have been keeping a keen eye on the Electronic Entertainment Expo this week.

Big game publishers have not disappointed… With a host of new games on the way there is barely enough space to mention them all here!

Studios like Nintendo, Microsoft, Capcom, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Square Enix and Sega (to name a few) have been sharing their latest games and hardware this week!

Independent developers have also had their chance to shine with small studios sharing heartfelt and clever games that – at times, outshine the big players.

Halo: Infinite will have free to play multiplayer across Xbox and PC

One game in particular has shone bright – Halo: Infinite is promising a return to form with the series now offering free Multiplayer which looks set to boost the communities numbers – 343 industries has promised that fans both old and new will find something to enjoy!

Battlefield 2042 feels like a love letter to fans of the series offering a “return to all-out war”

Battlefield continued to excite fans with a new gameplay reveal and the game even looks well placed to dethrone their competitors – Call Of Duty: Warzone when it releases in October.

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Djokovic creates history at Roland Garros

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Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland Garros.

Novak Djokovic has won the 2021 French Open, defeating fifth-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set thriller.

In his first grand slam final, Tsitsipas won the first two sets. But he needed medical treatment for a back injury at the end of the third.

This gave Djokovic the chance to strike and claim victory in the final three sets: 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Djokovic looked exhausted during the first two sets after a gruelling match against the king of clay, 13-time winner Rafael Nadal a few days earlier.

“It was not easy for me, both physically and mentally,” Djokovic said.

But Novak Djokovic bounced back to claim victory, in his second grand slam title of the year. He said he was grateful to a young boy who offered support and advice throughout the final.

“I found that very cute and very nice,” he said.

“To give the racquet to the best person was him. That was my gratitude for him sticking with me,” he said.

Novak Djokovic becomes the first man to win all four majors twice since Rod Laver in 1969.

“Of course, I am thrilled and I’m very proud of this achievement. I think part of the history of the sport that I love with all my heart is always something that is very inspiring and very fulfilling for me,” he said.

The win marks the end of Roland Garros, which saw big names Naomi Osaka and Roger Federer withdrawing from the tournament.

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The major change for NBA superstar Lebron James

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NBA superstar, LeBron James is set to change his jersey number, beginning at the start of 2021-22 NBA season.

James will switch from number 23 to number 6, a number he wore at the Miami Heat.

James originally wanted to do the switch back in 2019, but his sponsor Nike said no due to potentially tens of millions of dollars’ worth of wasted inventory.

It is assumed that Nike and the Los Angeles Lakers have worked out a deal together to make the switch happen.

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