Celebrities rally behind Naomi Osaka after French Open exit

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Athletes, actors and different outstanding figures have come out swinging on behalf of Naomi Osaka after the Japanese tennis champion withdrew from the French Open to prioritize her psychological well being.

Among the many many who voiced their assist for Osaka over the vacation weekend had been basketball stars Steph Curry and Lisa Leslie, in addition to tennis greats Billie Jean King, Venus Williams and Serena Williams, who stated she wished she may give her frequent opponent “a hug” amid the furor surrounding her actions.

On Monday, Osaka introduced her departure from the Grand Slam match after successful her first-round match — and incurring a $15,000 effective for opting out of a subsequent information convention. The ace athlete, who lives in Los Angeles, had beforehand said that she wouldn’t take part in press occasions throughout the competitors, citing a disregard for gamers’ psychological well-being.

“I’ve suffered lengthy bouts of melancholy because the U.S. Open in 2018 and I’ve had a extremely laborious time dealing with that,” Osaka stated Monday in a press release on social media.

“I’m not a pure public speaker and get enormous waves of tension earlier than I converse to the world’s media. I get actually nervous and discover it aggravating to all the time attempt to interact and provide the greatest solutions I can. So right here in Paris I used to be already feeling weak and anxious so I believed it was higher to train self-care and skip the press conferences.”

Whereas talking with reporters in Paris after triumphing in her personal first-round match, Serena Williams defended Osaka’s choice, acknowledging that gamers “have completely different personalities, and individuals are completely different.”

“I really feel for Naomi,” she said. “I do know what it’s like. I’ve been in these positions. … Not everybody is identical. I’m thick. Different individuals are skinny. You simply need to let her deal with it the best way she needs to, in one of the simplest ways she thinks she will, and that’s the one factor I can say. I feel she’s doing the most effective that she will.”

“It’s extremely courageous that Naomi Osaka has revealed her fact about her wrestle with melancholy,” another tennis icon, King, tweeted. “Proper now, the necessary factor is that we give her the house and time she wants. We want her properly.”

On Instagram, Serena Williams’ sister and fellow tennis phenom, Venus Williams, inspired Osaka to “take care” of herself and appeared ahead to seeing her “again successful quickly.” Different sports activities luminaries who wished Osaka properly within the remark part of her newest Instagram submit had been Coco Gauff, Sloane Stephens, Kyrie Irving and Usain Bolt.

The sports activities neighborhood additionally rallied behind Osaka on Twitter, the place Golden State Warriors level guard Curry confirmed “main respect” for the 23-year-old athlete’s braveness to talk up for herself.

“You shouldnt ever need to make a decison like this-but so rattling spectacular taking the excessive highway when the powers that be dont shield their very own,” he tweeted.

“It’s so unhappy that we’re in a time that when a teen tells you they need assistance or a break, individuals reply with anger and lack of assist!” former Los Angeles Sparks center Leslie wrote. “I stand with you @naomiosaka Your psychological well being is simply as necessary as your bodily well being.”

Numerous Hollywood stars stood with Osaka on social media as properly. Amongst her movie star admirers had been Sanaa Lathan, Patton Oswalt, Padma Lakshmi, Olivia Munn, Roxane Gay, Gene Simmons, Ava DuVernay and Jada Pinkett Smith, who remarked that Osaka’s withdrawal is “your loss French Open.”

“Shouldn’t one’s athletic capability be the main focus and what’s most necessary?” tweeted “Red Table Talk” host Smith. “@naomiosaka was clearly able to play & had sufficient consciousness of self to acknowledge her psychological well being challenges across the media. Psychological well being needs to be one’s first consideration. I’m pleased with her.”

“Prioritizing Psychological well being could be life saving,” actor Lathan wrote. “This isn’t a recreation. Happy with her for exercising this quantity of self care even within the face of big opposition.”

In response to her announcement, French Tennis Federation President Gilles Morreton stated in a press release that the group is “sorry and unhappy” for Osaka and touted its dedication “to all athletes’ well-being and to repeatedly enhancing each facet of gamers’ expertise in our Match.”

“The end result of Naomi withdrawing from Roland-Garros is unlucky,” Morreton stated. “We want her the most effective and the quickest attainable restoration, and we stay up for having Naomi at our Match subsequent 12 months.”

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