Naomi Osaka has been taking time for herself. While I doubt this was her intention; her decision to do so has served as a reminder to Black women across the diaspora to prioritize themselves, their mental health and their peace over their careers and even the opinions of others.
It began with the French Open when Osaka declared that she would not be participating in interviews during the slam.
When the French Open decided that they were going to penalize Osaka for not participating—after she had warned them of her decision, she removed herself from the tournament all together.
Earlier this month, she announced that she would also not be participating in the German Open, set to take place on July 14.
And most recently Osaka shared that her sabbatical will also extend to Wimbledon.
According to ESPN, Osaka is the number 2 women’s tennis player in the world, has withdrawn from the tournament to continue focusing on herself.
Her agent released this statement: “Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year. She is taking some personal time with friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”
Apparently, Osaka is not the only pro player to make this type of decision. Rafael Nadal also announced that he was withdrawing from the tournament in an effort to preserve his mental health.
While she is not planning on participating in the tournaments this year, Naomi’s reps have confirmed that she is planning on playing during the Summer Olympics which are set to begin on Saturday, July 24 and end on Sunday, August 1 in Tokyo, Japan.