“Compassion and Empathy For That”: NFL Legend Tom Brady Backs Naomi Osaka Amid Her Break From Tennis

Published 07/02/2021, 3:00 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


Recently, current World No. 2, Naomi Osaka, opted out of the 2021 French Open. The Japanese International decided to withdraw from the tournament, on grounds of mental health. As many criticised her for taking a much-needed break, renowned sports personalities from all around the world spoke in her favour. One such personality was, 43-year-old,  NFL star, Tom Brady, who came to Naomi’s aid, saying, “Now as someone that’s twice her age, you have compassion and empathy for that”.

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Naomi Osaka opens up about her struggles with mental health

The former New England Patriot Quarterback was recently a victim to heavy criticism, following his departure from the team after 20 seasons. Hence, Tom can understand how overwhelming it is, being a sports entity in today’s time.

Jan 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after they score a touchdown during the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Post her first-round win at the Roland Garros, Naomi refused to speak with the reporters. As a result, she was fined $15,000 and warned of expulsion. It was this action that forced Naomi to make the shocking decision. Revealing her struggles with social anxiety and depression, ‘I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris’ she wrote.

Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts after missing a shot against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Naomi’s withdrawal took her off the spotlight but also shed some much-needed attention on the mental health of players in the sport. Tennis icons such as Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and many others supported Naomi.

Naomi thanked everyone for their support and love

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4-time Grand slam winner, Naomi Osaka, recently took to social media to appreciate the support she received from fellow tennis peers. In a heartfelt Instagram story, she said, “Just want to say thank you for all the love. Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it”.  

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 20, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka gives an interview as she celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Skipping the 2021 Wimbledon Championship as well, Naomi will next be seen at the 2020 Tokyo. Until then, she continues her sabbatical remaining off-grid, maintaining a low profile, and but hinting at a promising return to the court.

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