Sponsors praise Naomi Osaka’s courage on mental health after star’s French Open pullout.

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Naomi Osaka fell victim to criticism by someone who claims the media engagements are part of work.  Sponsors such as Sweetgreen and Nike and several big names in sports had waved their support when the 23-year-old tennis star voiced her struggles with anxiety and depressions. 

Crowned as one of the greatest stars in sports, Naomi shocked everyone when we withdrew herself from Grand Slam on Monday upon facing a fine of $15,000 US and warned with disqualification for refusing to address the media following her first-round match on Sunday. 

Tennis players are obligated to appear in news conferences if invited; failing to do so can result in a fine of up to $20,000 as per Grand Slam regulations. 

The four-time Grand Slam holder flagged her intent to avoid her press conferences to protect her mental state. Later she announced her withdrawal through Twitter on Monday. 

Though the media was always friendly to me, Naomi wrote she’s not a natural public speaker and gets huge waves of anxiety before she addresses the world’s media.” She was already feeling restless and venerable, she says, “so I thought it was better to think about herself and skip the press conferences. I announced it preemptively because I felt  the norms are somewhat in parts antiquated, and I wanted to emphasize that.”

To this, some of his fellow Japanese athletes had voiced their varying opinions about Naomi’s withdrawal.

Misaki Doi stated she was surprised to know about Naomi’s withdrawal. Doi told media following an early departure in the women’s singles, “I can’t imagine what she’s been going through, but I hope she doesn’t regret her decision,” 

We stand with  her and admire her courage.’

Toshihisa Tsuchihashi, executive director of the Japan Tennis Association, issued a statement on Tuesday saying, “The first thing to be considered is Ms. Osaka’s health. I wish her the earliest possible recovery”.

Sponsoring Giants such as Nike gave a statement, “We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience.”  Sweetgreen (one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains) stood behind Naomi and tweeted that its friendship with Naomi  “is rooted in wellness in all its forms.”

Whilst Mastercard stated, “Naomi’s decision tells us all how essential it is to take care of our health and wellbeing. Nissan, a Japanese automobile company, expressed solidarity to its brand ambassador.

Society should be “more supportive and sensitive of mental health, Vickie Skorji, who leads a non-profit counseling, program in Japan said in his statement. Vickie continued by saying that, “nobody asked how she’s doing” she voiced her intentions to look after herself and was penalized for it. 

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