Simone Biles, Kyle Beach and Naomi Osaka highlight 2021’s inspirational athletes of the year

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Naomi Osaka is one of the brightest stars in tennis.

Naomi Osaka is one of the brightest stars in tennis.
Image: Getty Images

Being a minority is hard. Being a triple minority is even harder. So when you’re Black, Asian, and a woman that plays a sport that’s always been considered white — people tend to get upset when you don’t do what they want you to do, like choosing not to partake in press conferences where a lot of bad questions are asked.

If Maria Sharapova did what Osaka did, she would have been labeled as a “mental health icon.” However, when a very shy biracial woman did it because she’d rather pay a fine to preserve her peace instead of sitting at a podium, many in the media landscape lost it.

Most journalists and media members prefer asking questions, as a lot of them hate being the ones that have to answer them. That’s why it was always quite ironic that so many of them insisted that Osaka ‘woman up” and do the thing that they despise.

Months later, we still don’t know if Osaka will participate in the sport of tennis in the way she has in the past. And to think, all of this was over some questions that probably didn’t need to be asked for some answers that many would forget.

Which begs another question: Was it worth it?

In 2021, a 24-year-old proved to us that self care is primary care. The scoreboard should read: Advantage, Osaka.

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