Calm App Supports Naomi Osaka With Donation, Offers To Pay Fines In 2021
[June 3, 2021: Jordaan Sanford]
Venus Williams said it best when it comes to how she deals with press:
"I know every single person asking me a questions can't play as well as I can and never will. So, no matter what you say or write, you'll never light a candle to me. So, that's how I deal with it, but each person deals with it differently," the seven-time major champ said.
Indeed, each person does deal with it differently, and Naomi Osaka has responded by taking some time away from the game, opting to prioritize her mental health. Osaka's initial decision to not talk to press in Paris caught many by surprise, but her subsequent withdrawal from the event revealed her on-going struggles with depression.
“The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she posted to social media. “Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.”
NBA basketball player Stephen Curry, actress Viola Davis, singer P!nk and more took to social media to share their respect and now meditation app, Calm is joining the chorus of support.
Osaka was well aware of the consequences of refusing to attend post-match press conference, and suggested that any fines, which typically go towards the Grand Slam Development Fund, go instead to a mental health organization of some kind. Calm is attempting to meet her request by donating $15,000 to Laureus Sport, a non-profit that is, in fact, creating change in the mental health realm and helping young lives through the power of sport.
Calm tweeted the following statement on Wednesday:
"To support Naomi Osaka’s decision to prioritize her mental health, Calm is donating $15000 to @LaureusSport in France, an organization doing incredible work in the mental health space to transform the lives of young people through the power of sport."
The app further announced it would cover all fines for players opting out of 2021 Grand Slam media appearances for mental health reasons, pledging to match each fine with another $15,000 donation to Laureus.
Calm is the first major company to support Osaka, who was also threatened with default from Roland Garros and a possible longterm suspension from the game.
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