Naomi Osaka Wins ‘Best Athlete, Women’s Sports’ At The ESPYs And Delivers A Speech

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 10:  Naomi Osaka accepts award onstage during the 2021 ESPY Awards at Rooftop At Pier 17 on July 10, 2021 in New York City.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka Wins ‘Best Athlete, Women’s Sports’ At The ESPYs And Delivers A Speech

Naomi Osaka Wins Honored At The ESPYs.

PUBLISHED ON : JULY 12, 2021 / 03:02 PM

Written by BET Staff

On July 10, Naomi Osaka was honored at the ESPYs and made her first public appearance since withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon.

Osaka was honored with the ‘Best Athlete, Women’s Sports’ and gave a powerful speech. 

“I just really want to not say a long speech because I’m a bit nervous,” she began. 

“I know this year’s been really — it hasn’t even finished — but it’s been really tough for a lot of us and, for me, I just want to say I really love you guys.”

The 23-year-old continued, “This is my first ESPYs, so it’s really cool to be surrounded by all these incredible athletes. I think all of you guys are really cool and I watch some of you guys on TV, so it’s really surreal to be here.”

Watch below:

RELATED: Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open After Fine Over Not Speaking To Media

Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open and later Wimbledon made international news and sparked a needed discussion around mental health in sport.  

On May 31, after being fined $15,000 for not meeting media interview requirements, Osaka withdrew from the French Open, she said, so that she could protect her mental health. 

She posted a message on Instagram, writing, "The best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris." 

She also added, “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.” 

Additionally, she withdrew from the Berlin WTA 5000 grass-court tournament and Wimbledon. However, Osaka plans to return to the court for the Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo later this month.

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

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