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

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.

 

  • 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

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