Naomi Osaka is a leader, even in a trailer. Osaka now speaks out in a preview of her bold upcoming July 16 Netflix documentary.
Naomi says, “No one really knows all the sacrifices that you make just to be good. Before I won the US Open, so many people told my dad that I would never be anything.”
The trailer then notes she “was like an overnight superstar and…that pressure weighed heavily on her.” Naomi continues: “I think the attention I get is kind of ridiculous. No one prepares you for that. I don’t know – I feel like I’m shriveling.”
The trailer states, “She’s young, everyone has an opinion on her, her sponsors, her family, social media.” Naomi speaks again: “Growing up, all I was thinking is like, ‘I want my mom to, like, be happy. I want her to stop working.’ She would work overtime, she would sleep in her car, and for me that was my whole point of playing tennis.
“My [Haitian] dad’s always been proud of where he comes from. Whenever I’m in hard situations he’s always told me my ancestors were on the ship for like 40 days and I use that…
“I always had this pressure to maintain the sweet pea image. But you know, I don’t care what anyone has to say.” As the social justice masks she wore at the US Open are shown, Naomi says, “None of these deaths had to happen – and I just want everyone to know the names.” Her dad then comments, “You learn every day – living by example is the best we can do for all, for our community, for our kids.”
Naomi concludes, “For so long, I tied winning to my worth as a person. To everyone that would know me, they would know me as a tennis player. So what am I, if I’m not a good tennis player?”