The Naomi Osaka Netflix Documentary Could Prove Vital Ahead Of Her Olympics Campaign
Naomi Osaka is a 23-year-old Japanese tennis player who, despite being a four-time Grand Slam singles champion and the defending champion of the US Open, is famously recognized for refusing to participate in the French Open press conferences in May 2021.
From Hero To Villain Overnight
Osaka is a pioneer in her field. Yet, many individuals, including public figures, turned against Osaka after her media boycott. Piers Morgan called her an “arrogant spoiled brat,” while Oliver Brown, a sportswriter for the Telegraph, accused her of “diva behavior.” Osaka later pulled out of the competition.
Since then, Osaka has come under more scrutiny, following her Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and her Netflix documentary, which hit screens on July 16. Clay Travis, Fox Sports Radio host, called her a hypocrite, tweeting that Osaka says she’s too introverted to talk to the media, but she can launch a reality show and be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. American journalist Megyn Kelly and Piers Morgan echoed Travis’ remarks.
In many ways, these recent moves by Osaka are textbook examples of “if you can’t beat them, join them.” When the tennis star refused to speak to reporters, people were confused: isn’t she a media personality? The answer was always no, but if people turned against her for her lack of media presence, why not do the opposite in the future? The Piers Morgans of the world wouldn’t have a problem with that — that’s what they wanted.
Alas, they did. However, for the 99%, those of us who watched journalists rip into Osaka, her recent moves, particularly her Netflix documentary, could prove vital in the global support she receives as she charges toward the podium at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Redemption At The Olympics
If you follow tennis, then you know that, despite the negative attention Osaka has received this year, she’s still a favorite to take home the gold at the women’s singles tennis tournament. Osaka will represent Japan —the country has online sports betting odds of 29/10 to win over 55 medals at the event— instead of the United States. She relinquished her American citizenship in 2019.
For those who don’t follow tennis, watching Osaka on the big screen could be a wake-up call that the media’s character assassination is unjust. Osaka’s documentary offers insight into the life of a young biracial woman, navigating triumphs and tough decisions as she makes history as the first Asian tennis player to be ranked number one.
It’s not unreasonable to think people with no prior interest in tennis and who only know Osaka because of the headlines will watch the series and support her throughout the Olympics. After all, if there’s one thing people love, it’s sports documentaries, as evidenced by The Last Dance series being watched by 23.8 million users outside of the US in its first four weeks.
Naomi Osaka is going into the Olympics as a gold medalist favorite in the tennis community and a villain in the media. However, I’m confident her recent ventures will be an eye-opener for bandwagon bullies, and she could become a fan favorite at this year’s event.
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