‘Tennis Is a Majority White Sport’- Naomi Osaka Says She Felt Scared When She Spoke About Social Issues

Published 10/03/2022, 2:41 AM EDT

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka is having a troublesome year. Apart from a poor string of performances, the 24-year-old has faced multiple injuries as well. However, it takes nothing away from the four-time Grand Slam champion who achieved a lot at a very young age. What makes her more special is the way she uses her platform to raise awareness about issues.

Frequently, the former world number 1 has raised her voice on pressing social issues. In an old interview, the four-time Grand Slam champion revealed how she felt after doing it for the first time.


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How did Osaka feel after she raised her voice against police brutality?

Raising your voice from such a platform can be extremely powerful, but at the same time intimidating. Osaka had her fears, but here’s what she thought before doing it for the first time. “There’s a point where you just think to yourself, “Well, there’s no turning back now.” So I’d say it definitely did scare me a lot,” Osaka said.

Further, the 24-year-old recalled the first time she raised her voice. “When I first posted a statement [about police brutality toward Black people] on Twitter, before I was wearing the masks. I pulled out of a tournament earlier that day, and I was getting so many notifications—my Twitter has never blown up like that before,” she added.


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The 24-year-old further added, “Just accepting and realizing that tennis is a majority white sport, which is something that I knew growing up. Everyone sort of knows that. So I’m hoping that, you know, as the years go on, that viewpoint changes.”

Pam Shriver criticizes Naomi Osaka


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After experiencing success early in her career, the 24-year-old is struggling on the tour. Additionally, the Japanese star suffered from mental health issues and faced multiple injuries. Osaka could not move past the initial rounds in most of the tournaments this year. The former American tennis star Pam Shriver believes Osaka has lost her interest in tennis.

Mar 31, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) is overcome with emotion after her match against Belinda Bencic (SUI)(not pictured) in a women’s singles semifinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Further, the American said that Osaka needs to play more matches in order to keep her hunger for success alive. Shriver also suggested Osaka to take inspiration from Serena Williams, who made a strong return after injury challenges and won the Australian Open in 2007.


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Watch This Story: When Serena Williams had a hilarious challenge for Naomi Osaka’s former coach

Has Osaka lost her way? Can she regain her form in 2023? Let us know in the comments.



Gaurav Verma

1075 articles

Gaurav Verma is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He has post graduate diploma in management from IILM Graduate School of Management and a BBA degree from Bangalore University. He has 1-year of experience in the banking sector.

Edited By: Tony Thomas