Nike (NKE) and other major sponsors have shown up to openly support tennis star Naomi Osaka following her decision to pull out from the French Open.
The sports apparel giant — who signed a sponsorship deal with Osaka in 2019 — cheered the athlete in a proclamation on Monday for opening up about her battle with depression.
“Our thoughts are with Naomi. We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience,” Nike said.
Osaka’s decision to pull out of the competition came after the competition, additionally called Roland Garros, fined her $15,000 for not speaking to the media following her first round match on Sunday.
Refering to mental health reasons, the four-time major champion declared on Twitter last Wednesday that she would not participate in any news conferences at the tournament. Declaring her resulting decision to pull out, she uncovered that she has “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.
Roland-Garros said in a proclamation that Osaka had failed to honor her contractual media obligations and was fined under the competition’s Code of Conduct. The statement added that Roland-Garros had “tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being” and that she was reminded that “rules should apply equally to all players.”
Different sponsors issued statements on the side of Osaka, who was born in Japan and grew up in the United States.
“Naomi Osaka’s decision reminds us all how important it is to prioritize personal health and well-being,” Mastercard (MA) said in a statement. “We support her and admire her courage to address important issues, both on and off the court.”
Osaka became the first number one tennis player to join Mastercard’s roster of global ambassadors in 2019.
Nissin Foods, a Japanese organization known for its instant noodles, additionally released a message of solidarity.
“We pray for Ms Naomi Osaka’s earliest recovery, and wish her continue success,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
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