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Naomi Osaka Quits French Open, Citing Mental Health Challenges

HeadlineJun 01, 2021

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open after being fined and threatened with disqualification for declining to take part in press conferences due to their effect on her mental health. Osaka says she’s been suffering from long bouts of depression since 2018. Sports researchers estimate one-third of athletes suffer from a mental health crisis at some point in their careers.

Prominent athletes of color have come forward to support Osaka, from Stephen Curry to Venus and Serena Williams. Osaka — who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian American father — is a four-time winner of Grand Slam tennis tournaments. She drew headlines last year when she wore the names of Black victims of police brutality on her face masks on the sidelines of the U.S. Open. 

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