NFL Legend Brett Favre Sounds Off on Naomi Osaka Refusing to Talk to Media

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM )

Former NFL great Brett Favre has a few things to say about professional tennis player Naomi Osaka blowing off the media.

Osaka cited a “bout of depression” in a recent decision to forego a media session she was to appear at. She was fined $15,000 for skipping out on the session. That amount isn’t even a drop in the bucket for the highest-paid female athlete of all time.

Brett Favre says Osaka should have toughened up and attended the session as she was supposed to. The NFL Hall of Famer says speaking to the media is “part of the job” for professional athletes. He had some rather strong words when speaking on Osaka’s media session absence and citing mental health as an excuse.

In a recent edition of his podcast, the legendary quarterback says there are times for every athlete when they don’t wish to speak to the media. He says media obligations come along with everything else that goes into being a superstar athlete.

“I do think athletes are held to a different level and a different standard, and rightfully so, because of the money we make,” Brett Favre says. He made references to a time he also refused to speak to the media. “We should also talk to the media. I’m not saying you have to; you chose to be fined or not. There wasn’t anything that if I chose not to speak I would be fined, so I chose not to speak and was fined $25,000, and then that was written into the rule book after that.”

Brett Favre Says Dealing With Media is Part of the Job

Brett Favre is not the only public figure to speak out on Osaka’s decision to skip her media session. Others say Osaka’s play comes from the privilege enjoyed by athletes with a platform on which to speak.

Others have spoken in support of Osaka, citing the seriousness of mental health issues plaguing our country. After the incident, Osaka withdrew from the French Open, a premier professional tennis event.

A legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback, Brett Favre was a transcendent player during his career. Though he played in one of the NFL’s smallest markets, he garnered much attention from the media. During his 15 years with the Green Bay Packers, Favre rarely shied away from NFL reporters.

In one instance, a 1998 loss to the Detroit Lions, Brett Favre reportedly told the Packers’ public relations team that he wouldn’t be speaking to reporters. He was fined a hefty sum and now says he regrets the decision to skip out on his media session.