Naomi Osaka discussed the backlash she faced when she decided to choose America over Japan at the Olympics! Suddenly people were like, ‘your Black card is revoked.”
A little about Naomi Osaka:
Naomi Osaka was born in Japan, and she migrated to the US as a child. Her mother is Japanese, and her father is Haitian. Her documentary is available for watching on Netflix. A must-watch! During the series, she discussed the backlash she faced when choosing America over Japan at the Olympics. She stated that when she took this decision, suddenly people were like, ‘Your Black card is revoked:
Naomi Osaka, the tennis superstar, wished to reply to the people who criticized her decision to represent Japan instead of the United States. She did that well by stating that her plan to play for the Asian nation shouldn’t have been a surprise to the commentators.
During the shoot of an episode of her documentary on Netflix, when the backlash she faced was being discussed, she mentioned that “I have been playing for Japan since I was 14 years old. It was not a secret that I’m going to play for Japan for the Olympics”. When I chose America, suddenly people commented, ‘Your Black card is revoked.’ Well, is African American the only Black? Of course not! With this comment, she felt that people fail to understand the different nationalities and races because there are many black people in Brazil, but they are not Brazilian!
Naomi Osaka had moved to the US when she was 3years old, and she held dual American and Japanese citizenship. However, as per Japan’s Nationality Act, one cannot have dual citizenship and must choose one before their 22nd birthday. After this incident, she announced that she would be relinquishing her American citizenship in 2019.
Naomi Osaka alongside her mother, Tamaki Osaka, at the 2020 Australian open.Osaka also expressed to Japanese broadcaster NHK; she stated that she has a ‘special desire’ to represent Japan at the Olympic Games.She further expressed that, “It is a special feeling to aim for the Olympics as a representative of Japan. I think that playing with the pride of the country will make me feel more emotional.”
Reports from The Wall Street Journal in 2018 stated that Osaka’s mother, whose name is Tamaki, mentioned that her daughter has deep cultural ties with Japan. She had decided that she would represent her country of birth early in her career. Further, she stated that she was born in Osaka and was brought up in a Japanese and Haitian culture. She was unequivocal that Naomi and her sister Mari have their roots in the culture of Japan, and it was not a decision influenced by financial motive, nor it was an outcome of influence of any national federation.”
You will be surprised to know that earlier this year, the 23-year-old, who is the first Asian player to reach the No. 1 world ranking and the highest-paid female athlete globally, withdrew from both the French Open and Wimbledon. Osaka justified this by saying that she wanted to take a step away from the care of her mental health, as told in an essay for Time Magazine.In the essay, she also confirmed that she would return to the tennis court to represent Japan at the Olympics held in Tokyo.
She excitedly stated that after taking a break, spending quality time with loved ones, and returning recharged, she looks and is excited to play in Tokyo. Participating in the Olympics games is exceptional, and it becomes heart-touching when she plays for Japan in front of her Japanese fans. She hopes and wishes that she would make them proud.