What Naomi Osaka taught women, especially black women

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Naomi Osaka has retired from the French Open this week. Credit: Peter Menzel

Many black women can relate to the challenges facing professional Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka and the reaction she experienced after retiring from the French Open to prioritize her mental health, according to the psychologist of northern medicine. west Inger Burnett-Ziegler.

“Naomi Osaka ‘s complaint about asking her repetitive questions that lead to “She’s one of the black women they can relate to,” said Burnett-Ziegler, an associate professor of psychiatry and at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “It’s not uncommon for a black woman to find herself in a work situation where she sits under a microscope and is harshly criticized in a way that is disproportionate to her colleagues.

“Much of the reaction Osaka has received coincides with the belief that it cannot be said that women just have to do what they have to do and endure things that are harmful to them to pacify others, be nice and keep their good jobs, “Burnett-Ziegler said, researching the mental health of black women.

“Osaka made a brave and courageous move stating its intentions not to make any press to protect it and moving on to the French Open “.

“He took some very important steps that are important to recognize:

  • He identified aspects of his work environment that contributed to his depression.
  • He did what was under his control to establish a clear and firm boundary so that he could take care of himself.
  • He prioritized his needs over the opinions and agendas of others.

“Of course, not everyone has the same degree of privilege and leverage as she does, but here’s a lesson for all of us.”


Athletes are not commodities nor are they superhuman


Citation: What Naomi Osaka Taught to Women, Especially Black Women (2021, June 2), Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-naomi-osaka- taught-women-black.html

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