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Naomi Osaka & Marshawn Lynch: A Match Made in Heaven

Anyone who takes the enjoyment out of this poor woman’s suffering is truly evil. While I don’t agree with her eventual dropout, approach, or statement I wholeheartedly respect it. We all truly never know the suffering others are experiencing, so it’s best to treat everyone as if they need help, not shaming, ignoring, or slandering. If you haven’t heard of Naomi Osaka lately or the news surrounding her, more likely you’ve been oblivious to the story surrounding her and her mental health.

If you don’t know the story behind Osaka’s anxiety, it because she felt inferior after reaching and capturing her goals to be a tennis champion. The boos that rang down on her with her defeat of Serena Williams changed her feelings and outlook as a person and human being. Fans felt that the wrong person had won, and that made Naomi Osaka feel smaller than the ball she was serving up her whole life. Osaka refused to eventually hold her media sessions following her matches and practice, which led to her being fined $15,000 by the tennis league and eventually led to her dropping out.

Support VS Opposition:

No one likes to see anyone suffer or hurt, either physically or mentally. Lately, it’s been easy to spot Naomi Osaka suffering so much that it physically affects her. If anything, look no further than her first withdrawal, which took place at the 2021 French Open. Things aren’t going to get easy for her, and there are some who actually oppose her decision, which is blasphemy. Everyone is allowed to their own beliefs/opinions, and hey, it helps me have some content for an article like this.  Nadal, another of tennis’s great superstars, shares sentiments similar to that of Brett Farve.

Responsibility VS Obligation:

It’s really easy to see both sides of the spectrum. On one side I feel like Naomi has an obligation to adhere to her contractual responsibilities whether she likes them or not. The problem is she doesn’t know how to adapt & no one is really helping her. Going through therapy is different than actually having someone guide you through the process of finding yourself and being comfortable enough in your own skin. Venus Williams had Osaka’s back when asked about the situation, which shows her full support.

Enter, Marshawn Lynch:

When thinking about the dilemma that riddles Naomi Osaka it’s hard not to think of All Bay All Day Podcast’s favorite Bay Area athlete & comrade to the community, Marshawn Lynch. The only time I didn’t like him was when he was with the Seattle Seahawks, and even then he was a good dude who just happens to be on a team I hated. Lynch’s approach was the right one everyone should have and was explained even better in a clip with all-time NFL great Peyton Manning in an ESPN piece.

Naomi needs to adopt the same reasoning that Lynch came to eventually accept as a celebrity athlete in the spotlight. All those that pretend to love you and write good things about you eventually need juicer headlines, and anyone will do anything for clickbait, shares, and follows even trampling the trust bridged between athlete and media.

No matter how much you hate Marshaun Lynch, you have to respect his approach and his disregard for fear for how he will be portrayed, the loss of sponsors, and the possibility of losing the ability to play the game he loved so much. In order for Lynch to be the player he truly wanted to be, he had to be comfortable in his own skin, and the same analogy applies to Naomi Osaka. Look no further than Lynch’s last press conference on January 12, 2020, when he reminded everyone out there, “count their chickens” & it’s fair to say Osaka has lots of chicken to count in her time of reflection.

Fair VS Foul:

Let’s not ignore the fact that sometimes to women are treated differently than men, and not always in a positive way. People on social media took note of how Naomi Osaka was being treated following her decision to eventually drop out of the French Open & then Wimbledon shortly after. Osaka did state that she would be back to compete for the Olympics and proudly representing the USA in Tokyo.  It should be noted that Roger Federer’s exit from the French Open was reported differently than Osaka’s departure, but both were for pretty much for the same reason, to let the mind and body mend.

If anything, let this be a lesson to all. Don’t let other’s expectations, hopes, wants, desires shape your feeling of fulfillment, success, and completeness. Naomi will learn, and if anything she has a role model in Oakland’s finest, Marshuan Lynch. So, Naomi, I’m pulling for you to put this behind you and be all about that action boss, as Marshawn Lynch would say.

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