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Naomi Osaka is poised to lead tennis on, off court

23 Comments
By HOWARD FENDRICH

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Naomi Osaka: "Before I am an athlete I am a black woman."

But she gave up her American citizenship to play tennis as a Japanese, so is she a black woman or a Japanese woman?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

The article mentions Billie Jean King. I met Ms. King a few times many years ago. She was very pleasant to be around. I hope she is well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SerranoToday  07:18 am JST

Naomi Osaka: "Before I am an athlete I am a black woman."

But she gave up her American citizenship to play tennis as a Japanese, so is she a black woman or a Japanese woman?

You are confusing nationality with ethnic background/identity. Two different things.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Very proud of Naomi. While I admittedly have been hard on her in the past because I felt there was a lot of unnecessary distractions in her life that was hurting her tennis game, it looks like she has worked past that now.

Anytime a professional athlete uses their platform to highlight social injustice and racism in multiple countries (in Naomi's case, both in America AND Japan), it deserves to be applauded.

One day Naomi will be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Japan is rightfully proud of her.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

is she a black woman or a Japanese woman?

I didn't know it was impossible to be both.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Someone should ask her what she thinks about racial injustice in her own country.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

oldman_13Today  08:30 am JST

Very proud of Naomi. While I admittedly have been hard on her in the past because I felt there was a lot of unnecessary distractions in her life that was hurting her tennis game, it looks like she has worked past that now.

Anytime a professional athlete uses their platform to highlight social injustice and racism in multiple countries (in Naomi's case, both in America AND Japan), it deserves to be applauded.

One day Naomi will be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Japan is rightfully proud of her.

Germany has its Steffi, America has its Venus and now Japan has its Osaka. And she represents her nation proudly and at the same time she does have the right to address social injustice and racism issues. She's had to deal with such crap from both sides. Here in America she would've got some racist doo-doo even if she were a 100% Oriental Asian woman. She's one of a kind, it ain't like she's being a ungrateful lippy ingrate. She's breaking down social and racial barriers, and what's wrong with that?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

is she a black woman or a Japanese woman?

I didn't know it was impossible to be both.

Technically it's not, though there are very few black women with Japanese citizenship.

But when she says "Before I am an athlete I am a black woman" she's putting her blackness before her Japaneseness.

Someone should ask her what she thinks about racial injustice in her own country.

Being as how she had dual citizenship but then renounced her U.S. citizenship to play tennis not as a black woman but as a Japanese woman, "her own country" would be Japan.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Naomi-chan is a proud Black Japanese woman. She has matured so much in the past few months. She has fought so hard for Justice for Blacks and minorities, and put the shocking killings by US police of Black children, women and men in the spotlight worldwide. She is taking the righteous path, ignoring the haters and the ignorant disparaging her and saying she is not a "real" Japanese.

Japan is rightfully proud of one of their own, Naomi-chan. And if she gets that Gold for Japan next year in Tokyo, it will be her crowning achievement, and bring more glory to Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

If Tokyo 2021 does go ahead next year, watch all the racists and haters heads explode as Japan showcases her brilliant multicultural athletes - Naomi-chan, Cambridge, Hachimura, Abdul Brown among many many more.

Living proof that multiculturalism works when done properly, and minorities are not living in fear of being looked down on, and shot at, at worse.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Technically it's not, though there are very few black women with Japanese citizenship.

Naomi Osaka is one such woman. It's pretty weird to dismiss her life as a technicality.

But when she says "Before I am an athlete I am a black woman" she's putting her blackness before her Japaneseness.

No, she isn't. She never mentioned her nationality: she said that her experiences as a black woman have informed her life more than her job as a tennis player.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Meanwhile, in other news, Japan's Shingo Kunieda celebrates after beating Alfie Hewett, of the United Kingdom, to win the wheelchair final of the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York on Sunday.

Tennis in a wheelchair, that guy deserves real respect. No politics, no BS and earns a tiny fraction (if that) of the money players of regular championship tennis earn. Everyone will have forgotten his name by the end of the week, what a crying shame that is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Osaka is no Billie Jean King

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm more curious about Naomi's supposed American citizenship.

First, her father is reportedly Haitian nationality and not American nationality, according to every source I've seen. That means that Naomi does not have, and has never had, US citizenship.

News reports say that the family moved to the US to live with the father's parents. If her father had a permanent resident visa, Naomi would have been a dependent and only had Japanese citizenship from her mother or Haitian citizenship from her father. Haiti does not allow dual citizenship, so her father would have had to been a naturalized American and could not hold dual citizenship, but all reports are he is Haitian.

So, is she a legal immigrant to the US?

If she was an immigrant, did she naturalize? If she naturalized, she cannot hold dual citizenship and cannot be Japanese legally. You can only hold dual American citizenship if you are eligible for separate citizenship by descent (Jus sanguinis).

Her legal status is curious.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Naomi-chan, we are sooo proud of you、please keep going up

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Serrano, Osaka did not give up her American citizenship. Sorry to say you are so misinformed, if you really want to know more she doesn't live in Florida, she resides currently down the block from where I live, YES with her boyfriend in the Hollywood Hills!! She walks about everyday and yes the neighbors know who she is and no one bothers her. FACT!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Starpunk Osaka may have been born in Japan but too bad she wasn't accepted there until she got the hardware. She is very much AMERICAN as you can see, lifestyle and personal choices. The only difference is the sponsorship, it was a very wise move for her to wear the Japanese flag because she could get more sponsorship as America has tons of athletes, she is just one sharing both corners of the earth. Sooner she will get more now that she has won again. America embraces Osaka for who she is, Osaka embraces America for what she is thats FACT! What most Japanese are over looking his sooner or later the so called "HALFAs" will have a more powerful voice this is what Japan doesn't see coming as more will speak out in a country that is so uptight being a mono culture.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Osaka and other BLM protests are shining a light on racism in Japan, inspiring discussions about what it means to be Japanese and about the lives of the country’s multiracial population. Some are now questioning why people with mixed heritage are referred to as “hafu” (or half), suggesting they’re somehow less Japanese than others. She’s widely regarded not just as a Japanese celebrity but as a role model for her talent and social activism.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Being as how she had dual citizenship but then renounced her U.S. citizenship to play tennis not as a black woman but as a Japanese woman, "her own country" would be Japan.

She met her legal requirement of stating an intention to give up her citizenship. There is no requirement to follow through, and there has been no report of her actually following through. I'd be surprised if she wasn't still American.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

dctokyo2002Sep. 14  06:12 pm JST

Osaka is no Billie Jean King

No. Osaka is Osaka.

kalmcahl  Sooner she will get more now that she has won again. America embraces Osaka for who she is, Osaka embraces America for what she is thats FACT! What most Japanese are over looking his sooner or later the so called "HALFAs" will have a more powerful voice this is what Japan doesn't see coming as more will speak out in a country that is so uptight being a mono culture.

BION, white bigots in America claim that Japan is such a successful economic powerhouse because they think it's one race. I know better than that, it's BS. Japan is mostly Oriental Asian but there's also the indigenous Ainu and the smaller islands have a more Polynesian population. Racists are wrong about everything because they're stupid.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

peter neil:

When you naturalize as an American, you are forced to renounce any other citizenships.

What planet are you living on?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Strangeland she is a woman does her color of her skin make a difference?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

she gave up her American citizenship to play tennis as a Japanese, so is she a black woman or a Japanese woman?

One can be both. She is.

But when she says "Before I am an athlete I am a black woman" she's putting her blackness before her Japaneseness.

No, she's putting her blackness before her being an athlete. Neither the article nor her comment says anything about being Japanese.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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