Nike backs Naomi Osaka after she withdraws from French Open



The sports apparel giant — who signed a sponsorship deal with Osaka in 2019 — applauded the athlete in a statement on Monday for opening up about her struggle 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 tournament, also called Roland Garros, fined her $15,000 for not speaking to the media after she won her first round match on Sunday.
Citing mental health reasons, the four-time major champion announced on Twitter last Wednesday that she would not participate in any news conferences at the tournament. Announcing her subsequent decision to withdraw, she revealed that she has “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.

Nike was not the only sponsor to issue a statement in support of Osaka.

Nissin Foods, a Japanese company known for its instant noodles, also 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.

— This story will be updated.

— Chris Liakos and Chie Kobayashi contributed reporting.





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