Naomi Osaka shines light on backlash over representing Japan at Olympics in new Netflix series

Naomi Osaka shines light on backlash over representing Japan at Olympics in new Netflix series

July 19, 2021
In her new self-titled Netflix docuseries, Naomi Osaka discusses the backlash she received for representing Japan instead of the U.S. at the Tokyo Games. 
No surprise: The 23-year-old Haitian-Japanese player said her decision to play for Japan at the Olympics should not surprise her critics, noting that she has been playing for her birth country since she was 14, Insider reported.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

  • While addressing the critics who have claimed her “Black card is revoked,” Osaka said, “African American isn’t the only Black, you know? I don’t know, I feel like people really don’t know the difference between nationality and race because there’s a lot of Black people in Brazil, but they’re Brazilian.”
  • In an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK in 2019, Osaka said she had a “special desire” to represent Japan at the Olympic Games: “I think that playing with the pride of the country will make me feel more emotional.”
  • Osaka gave up her U.S. citizenship to compete for Japan at the Olympics.
  • “We made the decision that Naomi would represent Japan at an early age,” Tamaki, Osaka’s mother, told The Wall Street Journal in 2018. She explained that Osaka and her sister, Mari, have strong cultural ties to Japan and “have always felt Japanese.”
  • “It was never even a secret that I’m going to play for Japan for the Olympics,” Osaka said.
Other details: Born in Osaka, Japan, the tennis player and her family moved to New York when she was 3 years old.
Featured Image via Netflix
      Bryan Ke

      Bryan Ke is a Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.