Would someone please name just one sport — really, just one — where there has never been any sort of heckling or yelling at an athlete?
Hockey … baseball … basketball … soccer … horse racing … and of course football. The list goes on and on. Even the gentle game of golf. The difference is not in the crowds but the players. Most learn to put their “work” coats on and get extra skin and do the job they get paid lots and lots of money for and entertain the paying crowds.
Sorry, but no one should be banned or punished for vocalizing their opinions, even at a tennis match. And if you think the great community of Indian Wells will suffer some kind of black spot, then you need to get the extra skin, and that would include the rather young and seemingly fragile player.
This is America, folks, and we all are entitled to opinions. And you can take them or leave them, but they are not to be silenced. Maturity and respect is acquired, not something that can be demanded.
Elizabeth Carnie, La Quinta
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Naomi Osaka heckling at BNP Paribas Open shows players need thick skin