Naomi Osaka should have been having the moment of her life at the U.S. Open, beating her hero on one of the biggest stages of tennis. Naturally, as the news cycle does, it focuses on the negative rather than the positive, and Osaka’s win was secondary to the interactions between Williams and judge Carlos Ramos. However, Good Black News reports that Osaka is still reaping the benefits of her win, poised to sign an $8.5 million deal with Adidas. Not bad for a 20-year-old.
The Haitian and Japanese athlete is set to make the highest deal ever that Adidas has offered a woman, and could become one of the highest-paid women in sports when all is said and done. Adidas already had a six-figure deal with her that is ending this year. This isn’t the only endorsement that she picked up lately, also, signing a three-year endorsement deal with Nissan to be one of its brand ambassadors.
“With a combination of grit and grace, Naomi Osaka is not afraid to take on the best tennis players of our time, and win,” Asako Hoshino, Senior Vice President, Nissan, told the news outlet. Osaka is humbled to represent the brand and says she was drawn to Nissan because of its “strong Japanese DNA and global competitive spirit.”
On top of being eclipsed by the controversy with Williams, we mentioned in past coverage how Osaka being in the limelight has showcased some of the issues successful black women face. “One small example for Osaka comes from after she was asked about her name by a reporter at a post-match conference. “Your last name is Osaka, you were born in Osaka, which is a bit strange because your father is Haitian, the reporter asked. “So how come your last name is the same name of your city? You should have the last name of your father.” This shows a bit of ignorance on the reporters part, as not only does this ignore multiracial children and children who carry their mother’s names, but it’s also public knowledge that adopting her mother’s last name make her life easier as a black child growing up in Japan.”
However, one moment of positivity in all this came from Serena herself. In a recent appearance on The Ellen Show, Osaka mentioned how “She said that she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd wasn’t booing at me. So, I was really happy that she said that.”