Sponsors hail Naomi Osaka’s ‘courage’ on mental health

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NEW YORK (AP) — A few years ago, a star athlete dropping out of a major tennis tournament over mental health issues might have been seen as a sign of weakness. Today, at least for Naomi Osaka’s corporate sponsors, it is being hailed as refreshingly honest. That would explain why so many of them have stuck by Osaka, even after the four-time Grand Slam champion announced this week that she was withdrawing from the French Open because she didn’t want to appear for the prerequisite press conferences that caused her “huge waves of anxiety.” Nike, Sweetgreen and other sponsors have put out statements in support of the 23-year-old star after she revealed her struggles. 

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