Naomi Osaka is receiving an outpouring of support.
Yesterday, Osaka announced that she would no longer be competing in the 2021 French Open tennis match, following her decision to opt out of post-match press coverage. The 23-year-old tennis star previously shared that participating in press interviews affects her mental well-being. She also shared that she’s been experiencing depression in recent years, and that she is trying to prioritise her emotional health at this point in time. The athlete was fined $15,000 for her decision to not participate in postgame press conferences.
Her peers in the sports world, such as tennis champ Serena Williams and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, have vocalised their support for Osaka following her landmark decision to withdraw from the competition and take a break from the sport that made her a household name.
“I feel for Naomi. Not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently,” Williams told the Associated Press following a match yesterday. “You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can. That’s the only thing I can say: I think she is doing the best she can.”
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Wilson wrote a brief but heartwarming message on Twitter, stating, “We are with you @naomiosaka #Courage.”
Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova also shared a message of support, tweeting, “I am so sad about Naomi Osaka. I truly hope she will be ok. As athletes we are taught to take care of our body, and perhaps the mental & emotional aspect gets short shrift. This is about more than doing or not doing a press conference. Good luck Naomi—we are all pulling for you!”
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This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.