Naomi Osaka and the power of 'nope'

Women have long functioned as bit players in sports industries designed by and for men. The power balance is changing for the public figures, the journalists and the publications that cover them, and the companies they do business with.

Social media has provided athletes a direct line to their public, and according to the writer, Naomi Osaka’s statement, which appeared to be written on the notepad app of her phone, was arguably among the most influential uses of media of her career. PHOTO: EPA–EFE

(NYTIMES) - When Naomi Osaka dropped out of the French Open on Monday, after declining to attend media interviews that she said could trigger her anxiety, she wasn't just protecting her mental health. She was sending a message to the establishment of one of the world's most elite sports: I will not be controlled.

This was a power move - and it packed more punch coming from a young woman of colour. When the system hasn't historically stood for you, why sacrifice yourself to uphold it? Especially when you have the power to change it instead.

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