Naomi Osaka Smashes Concerns On How Motherhood Will Affect Tennis Career

Naomi Osaka Smashes Concerns On How Motherhood Will Affect Tennis Career

Naomi Osaka is not here for performative concern about how her tennis career may change after the birth of her first child—due in June or July—with rapper Cordae.

The 25-year-old four-time Grand Slam singles champion took to Twitter to urge people to put some respect on her name and check their internalized sexism at the door.

“Btw to the people that are suddenly concerned about my career- There are plenty of male athletes with kids that are significantly less accomplished, you might wanna worry about them instead,” Osaka wrote. “Thanks for the concern, might wanna redirect it to someone that needs it though.” In a thread, she added, “Not trying to make this a male and female thing but let’s be fr.”

Heard you, champ!

Osaka, who announced her pregnancy in January, is no stranger to the online trolls and 24/7 commentary that come with being a global icon in sports, especially as a woman of color.

When she decided to lend her support to the racial and social justice movements of 2020, donning the names of victims of police killings on her face masks before matches, many implored her to stick to tennis. She refused.

After standing up for her mental wellness as well as her peers’ by critiquing post-match media press conferences, she was deemed both ungrateful and unprofessional. However, her actions spawned long overdue conversations about the humanity of athletes and empowered competitors outside of tennis to prioritize their own mental well-being.

The mom-to-be has always been a leader and now it seems she’s ready to silence her detractors in her newest challenge: motherhood.