Naomi Osaka Saturday night accepted the ESPY for Best Female Athlete.
It was her first public appearance since withdrawing from the French Open in May and later skipping Wimbledon to care for her mental health.
“I just really want to not say a long speech because I’m a bit nervous,” Osaka said in accepting the award at the ceremony of the rooftop of Pier 17 at the Seaport in New York. “This year has been a really, it hasn’t even finished, but it’s been really tough for a lot of us. For me, I just want to say I really love you guys.”
According to Tennis.com, she wore a black and white striped top and a green skirt from Louis Vuitton. She attended the night with her boyfriend, rapper, singer and songwriter Cordae.
In a article she wrote this past week for Time, she shared a few lessons from her life. One she said, “you can never please everyone.”
Lesson Two, “everyone either suffers from issues related to their mental health or knows someone who does.”
On the media she said “: I love the press; I do not love all press conferences.”
Osaka created a public controversy when she announced prior the French Open that she would not participate in news conferences.
“I wanted to skip press conferences at Roland Garros to exercise self-care and preservation of my mental health. I stand by that. Athletes are humans,” she wrote in Time.
She said she shared her mental condition because she felt pressure to do so.
“I do not want to have to engage in a scrutiny of my personal medical history ever again. So I ask the press for some level of privacy and empathy next time we meet.”
Under Japanese law, Osaka was forced to give up her dual American & Japanese citizenship and chose to retain her allegiance to Japan. She will represent that country at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
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