Many celebrities and public figures are speaking out against the unfair treatment of Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka who dropped out of the French Open tournament due to concerns about her mental health.
During her short time participating in the event, Osaka was fined $15K after not attending a press conference. This news, coupled with her sudden departure, has been making headlines worldwide.
The furor has led to a high volume of people and brands taking a direct side and issuing a statement on the importance of mental health.
Among those adding their own commentary are actors Viola Davis and Will Smith, and pop singer P!nk.
What have other people said about Naomi Osaka?
Acclaimed actor and philanthropist Viola Davis, best known for her roles in How to Get Away With Murder and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, tweeted her support for Osaka.
Tagging the tennis player directly, she wrote, “As one who also deals with social anxiety, I admire your courage and stand in solidarity with you.”
Many fans in the comments are praising the two women for their public advocacy towards mental health and transparency about their own struggles with social anxiety.
Actor Will Smith also made a loud statement. He uploaded an image of a hand-written letter to his Instagram account that reads the message, “Hey Naomi, you were right. They were wrong. I’m with you.”
In the image, he tagged the official accounts of Osaka and Roland Garros, which is another name for the French Open tournament. At the time of writing, the post has been ‘liked’ by 506,741 people.
The pop-rock singer and songwriter P!nk’s message also shines bright. In her two-tweet response to the situation, she wrote, “For whatever it’s worth-I’m proud of Naomi Osaka for putting her mental health, her well-being above everything. If we don’t take care of our health, our wellness- well then who will? What do we have if we don’t have our health? Don’t we know by now that success isn’t worth our life?”
She followed that up with, “She’s (Naomi) an example I would show my children- “listen babies, you can work hard to master your craft, but you do it on your own terms, and screw anyone if they don’t get it.”
What did Osaka say?
As of now, Osaka hasn’t publicly responded to any of her messages of support. Instead, she appears to be taking a social media break after the entire controversy.
The last post she made on her Twitter and Instagram was her initial statement from June 1 announcing her departure from the tournament. In her statement, she wrote, “I’m going to take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right, I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”
Osaka ended her statement with, “Anyways, hope you are all doing well and staying safe, love you guys. I’ll see you when I see you.”
Fans and celebrities seem to be confident that this situation will bring light to some of the antiquated rules and beliefs that come with being a public figure.