Why Naomi Osaka wore a football shirt in Indian Wells

Naomi Osaka returned to action this week as she prepares to compete in the 2022 BNP Paribas Open.

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden hosted the Eisenhower Cup before the tournament, in preparation for the main event.

Osaka took on eventual winner Amanda Anismova and drew a lot of attention with her match attire.

The four-time Grand Slam champion took to the pitch wearing a North Carolina Courage soccer jersey with ‘Osaka 97’ on the back, showing her support for the club she invested in last year.

Osaka is a tennis pioneer, but she’s also known for her moves off the court.

The 24-year-old has partnered with a number of high-profile businesses since bursting onto the scene. It is affiliated with brands such as Nissan, Tag Heuer and Louis Vuitton.

Osaka also worked with Barbie to create her own doll, and the popular online game Fortnite introduced a playable Osaka character.

Investing in the North Carolina Courage is one of his most recent business ventures. Osaka became the club’s first investor since renaming and moving in 2017.

As an influential athlete, Osaka is passionate about inspiring the next generation. Courage are one of the most recognized women’s soccer teams in the world and are a dominant force in the National Women’s Soccer League.

NC Courage holds the record for most league wins with two, and they lead the pack for most NWSL Shields won since its inception in 2013.

“The women who invested in me growing up made me who I am today and I can’t think of what my life would be like without them,” Osaka said in January 2021.

“My investment in North Carolina Courage goes far beyond just owning a team, it’s an investment in incredible women who are role models and leaders in their fields and inspirations to all. young female athletes.

“I also admire all the Courage does for diversity and equality in the community, which I look forward to supporting and moving forward.”

Osaka is one of the main tennis activists. During the 2020 US Open, she wore face masks displaying the names of seven African American men and women who were killed by police, to honor their names and raise awareness of police brutality.

Osaka has also been very active in discussions about mental health issues, including her own struggles. In 2021, she withdrew from the French Open after boycotting media duties to take a stand against how press conferences and interviews can impact the mental state of players.

The 2018 Indian Wells champion hopes to regain her form and fight for a trophy in California. Osaka’s first opponent will be American Sloane Stephens in the first round of the tournament tomorrow.

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