Naomi Osaka has made waves in the news this week for standing up for herself and her mental health. She dropped out of the French Open after refusing to do media interviews. Osaka is a self-proclaimed introvert and has struggled with anxiety and depression, especially when faced with public speaking and media interviews. Her simple statement on social media was honest, transparent and brave.
The New York Times piece, Naomi Oska and The Power of ‘Nope’ discusses this power move and the profound statement she makes to the greater sporting establishment. By walking away from the French Open, Osaka prioritizes her health over any repercussions from the Tennis Association or corporate sponsors.
There are many reasons to admire Osaka. For one, she put her mental health and wellness above all else. She also showed women all over the world that it was okay to struggle and okay to set boundaries for yourself.
Osaka is in a unique position of power as the highest paid female athlete in the world. She has the influence to make choices that other athletes and women might not be able to make. In doing so, she opens up a larger conversation about mental health.
by Hallman Ray