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Nike issues statement in support of Naomi Osaka

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Nike and other major sponsors of Osaka’s have come out in support of her decision to withdraw from the French Open, as first reported by CNN.

Osaka signed a sponsorship deal with Nike in 2019. On Monday, the company applauded the star for opening up about her struggles with depression and anxiety.

“Our thoughts are with Naomi. We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience,” Nike said.

Other sponsors joined the calls of support.

“Naomi Osaka’s decision reminds us all how important it is to prioritize personal health and well-being,” Mastercard said in a statement. “We support her and admire her courage to address important issues, both on and off the court.”

Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer said that it supports its brand ambassadors “in triumph but also during challenging periods.”

“Naomi is going through difficult times and we truly hope to see her back soon. She is a great champion and we are convinced that she will come out of this period stronger, be it professionally or personally,” the company said in a statement.

Many of Osaka’s Japanese sponsors also joined in. Japanese automaker Nissan issued their statement of support, writing in a statement, “We support the right of our ambassadors to express themselves and stand by her decision.”

All Nippon Airways, a Tokyo-based airline, said that it would continue to support Osaka “as a sponsor.”

Sweetgreen, a US restaurant chain of which Osaka is a brand ambassador and investor, said: “Our partnership with Naomi is rooted in wellness in all its forms. We support her in furthering the conversation around mental health and are proud to have her as part of the Sweetgreen team.”

Osaka’s decision to withdrawal has been applauded athletes across sports. Additionally, the four Grand Slam tournaments issued a release promising to address concerns related to athletes’ mental health.