Struggling With Depression and Ranked 77th in the World, Naomi Osaka Turns to Crypto

Naomi Osaka at the 2021 Met Gala / Grabien
• March 21, 2022 6:00 pm


Naomi Osaka, the multimillionaire tennis player who withdrew from the 2021 French Open after saying that talking to journalists is a mental-health hazard, will be a brand representative for cryptocurrency.

Osaka announced on Monday that she will represent the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, in which she has taken an equity stake. She will also receive her compensation in crypto.

"Few women are part of crypto," which "mirrors the inequality we see in other financial markets," Osaka said in a statement.

Osaka's mention of "inequality" is in line with other positions she has expressed over the years. She withdrew from the 2020 Cincinnati Open to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, in which the officers involved were ultimately cleared of wrongdoing. She has also endorsed the far-left Black Lives Matter movement.

Many journalists praised Osaka for her 2021 decision not to talk to journalists, with sports reporter Marina Hyde asking, "How much can it honestly matter?" New York Times tennis writer Christopher Clarey was one of only a few to argue that "facing unwelcome questions, even in defeat, does not seem like too much to ask" from athletes.

In an interview with Women's Agenda in June, Osaka said she has suffered from depression since her 2018 U.S. Open win.

"The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018, and I have had a really hard time coping with that," Osaka said.

Following Osaka's decision to bow out of the French Open, her singles ranking plummeted, going in less than two weeks in January 2022 from 14th to 85th in the world. She now stands at 77th.

Osaka reappeared in the news this month, when she burst into tears after one person heckled her at a tournament in California.

Published under: Black Lives Matter, Sports