NextSharkNextShark.com
Latest Newsletter🍵 Therapy for Monterey Park heroRead

Article

Naomi Osaka Shuts Down Reporter Who Asked Her to Speak in Japanese

naomi osaka

    Asian America Daily - 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

    Naomi Osaka politely dismissed a reporter’s request that she speak in Japanese, drawing support from thousands of Japanese netizens.

    The 21-year-old tennis star heard the request during an interview with Japanese TV over the weekend, just after winning this year’s Australian Open.

    In a clip widely shared on Twitter, a reporter is heard congratulating the half-Japanese, half-Haitian athlete before asking her to share her feelings on defeating Petra Kvitova — in Japanese.

    “Yesterday’s match, against Petra Kvitova, a left-handed player, must’ve been difficult to counter,” the reporter said, according to SoraNews24. “Could you tell us, in Japanese, how difficult it was to deal with? Just one word about how you felt.”

    Image via Twitter / bettybeat

    Osaka, who has since revealed that she “can understand way more Japanese than I can speak,” refused to give in to the reporter’s request and instead began her response with “I’m going to say it in English.”

    The tennis pro’s firm yet polite reply instantly won Japanese Twitter, with many slamming the local media for being so concerned about her background.

    Image via Instagram / naomiosakatennis

    User @bettybeat, who posted the clip, wrote, “In Naomi Osaka’s interviews, Japanese reporters often ask her to speak in Japanese. I’m sick of it and I’m sorry for Naomi, but her firm ‘I’m going to say it in English’ saved me.”

    Others echoed the same thoughts:

    “It seems the media wants to disregard her black roots. Why can’t they let her speak in whatever language she wants?”

    “That passionate ‘I’m gonna say it in English.’ Gahahaha. How satisfying.”

    “I love it that the media does not get what it expects.”

    “Naomi Osaka just spoke like a true champion.”

    “What a rude reporter!”

    Image via Instagram / naomiosakatennis

    Interestingly, a local radio program ran a poll on the matter and found that 1,648 people — an overwhelming majority — did not like the idea of Osaka being asked to speak in Japanese. Meanwhile, a measly 97 thought it was good.

    This is not the first time Osaka asserted herself before Japanese reporters. Last year, she schooled one for throwing her a question that ignored her Haitian heritage.

    Featured Images via Twitter / bettybeat

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal