Guided Language Analysis
In response to journalists who criticise Naomi Osaka for refusing to do a press conferences due to mental illness, Vanessa Beedleman has proposed using a frustrated tone that by attacking Osaka for how she is dealing with her mental illness they are causing her further distress. The article attacks journalists for not taking Osaka’s mental health seriously. The title ‘Double-fault: Journos who criticise Naomi Osaka are letting down anyone who deals with depression’ seeks to evoke a sense of empathy within fans of the sport.
Media choses to make money over respecting people’s mental health.
People with physical illnesses are treated differently to those with mental illnesses.
Other factors including gender change how an athlete is treated.
Beedleman uses the idiom, “dragging Osaka over hot coals” to describe the way the media are treating Naomi Osaka’s mental illness. With this statement, Beedleman implies that the media is treating her so horribly, they may as well drag her over hot coals. This causes the reader to sympathise with Osaka’s situation and consider her mental illness differently.
Beedleman uses rhetorical questioning by stating “does the journalists who denounced Osaka as “lame” and a “princess” … also begrudge Kvitova for going off to get an MRI?” With this statement, Beedleman questions the media’s intentions by comparing how they treat Osaka’s mental illness to a physical illness. This encourages the reader to reconsider how they think about the mental health of athletes.
Beedleman has used comparison by observing how female tennis players are “subjected to relentlessly humiliating questions about his sexuality, or his looks, or buying handbags, or asked to do a “twirl” like a piece of dancing meat”. With this statement, Beedleman identifies the inconsistencies in the way sport female and male athletes are treated, this makes the reader consider the role that sexism plays in sport.
Beedleman uses hyperbole by stating that tennis press conferences is like “pointless circus”. By saying this she is comparing how athletes are treated during press conferences with a circus, examining how a circus attracts a lot of attention, but is unnecessary. It makes readers think if press conferences are really necessary when they cause athletes so much distress.
Beedleman tries to appeal to the audience by stating “just let Osaka manage her own health, judge her own game and focus on tennis.” This is asking the audience to just let Osaka work on her own mental health without pressuring her. It makes the reader empathise with Osaka situation.
The image within this article shows just how different people with mental and physical injuries are treated. It compares how saying “you have to make an effort” and “just change you frame of mind” doesn’t help someone with a physical illness, nor does it help someone with a mental illness. By forcing Osaka to do press conferences it invalidates her mental health and shows zero respect for her.
Through the use of persuasive techniques such as idioms, rhetorical questioning, comparison, hyperbole, appeal and personal anecdotes to persuade the journalists to let Osaka work on her own mental health without interfering and causing her even more distress.