Naomi Osaka is getting plenty of support following her withdrawal from the French Open.
The No. 2 women’s tennis player in the world withdrew from Roland Garros following a media blackout — which led to a $15,000 fine and threats of disqualification from tournament officials.
Osaka had said prior to the tournament that she would not be speaking to the media due to mental health reasons.
Following her withdrawal, there were some who criticized Osaka for not following through with media obligations which they consider to be “part of the job.” There has also been overwhelming support, with her sponsors like Nike now coming to show they are standing by the star.
“Our thoughts are with Naomi. We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience,” Nike said in a statement, via the New York Post.
Mastercard added, “Naomi Osaka’s decision reminds us all how important it is to prioritize personal health and well-being. We support her and admire her courage to address important issues, both on and off the court.”
There was also support from Nissin Foods, and Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer.
Osaka’s decision to withdrawal highlighted the mental health struggles for athletes and has brought the conversation to the frontlines. The story has dominated sports programs throughout the week and, ultimately, the discussion on mental health is what Osaka wanted to be the story the entire time.