With the French Open in full swing, four time Grand Slam winner, Naomi Osaka has suddenly withdrawn from the tournament. The tennis star, has been missing press conferences and was facing a possible disqualification or suspension, if her behavior continued. Osaka was fined $15,000 after refusing to speak with reporters following her win during the first round at the Open. On Monday, she then removed herself from the tournament all together. Osaka took to her Twitter account to explain that she has been suffering from “long bouts of depression and social anxiety”. The No.2 ranked tennis player revealed that she has been experiencing these mental health bouts since the US Open back in 2018.So
The Grand Slam administrators responded to Osaka’s sudden departure by pledging to address players’ who may be struggling with their mental health. The Grand Slam released a statement, which said the following:
The mental health of players competing in our tournaments and on the Tours is of the utmost importance to the Grand Slams…We individually and collectively have significant resources dedicated to player well-being. In order to continue to improve however, we need engagement from the players to understand their perspective and find ways to improve their experiences. Every year we seek to deliver better experiences to our fans, our players and our people, and we have a long and successful track record in achievement on this count.
In addition that statement, another statement was released on Tuesday from tournament officials directly to what Osaka is going through.
On behalf of the Grand Slams, we wish to offer Naomi Osaka our support and assistance in any way possible as she takes time away from the court. She is an exceptional athlete and we look forward to her return as soon as she deems appropriate…Mental health is a very challenging issue, which deserves our utmost attention. It is both complex and personal, as what affects one individual does not necessarily affect another. We commend Naomi for sharing in her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling and we empathize with the unique pressures tennis players may face.
Naomi Osaka is most definitely not alone with battling mental health issues. According to sources,
Approximately 46.6 million people are living with mental illness in the US. That’s 1 in 5 adults who will be living with a mental health condition at some point in their lives… Among professional athletes, data shows that up to 35% of elite athletes suffer from a mental health crisis which may manifest as stress, eating disorders, burnout, or depression and anxiety.
Identifying and addressing any mental health concerns is very important. Do not be ashamed or judged for seeking help. There are more resources than many know about. Normalize breaking the stigma of going to therapy. Support one another in your battles. Take time for self-care, that is the most important piece of advice that can be given. We are rooting for you Naomi! We are rooting for anybody dealing with any kind of mental health battles.
We know you’ve been waiting to find out what the Freshly Squeezed section is about. Freshly Squeezed is a monthly feature of a black owned business. Find fresh fashion and seasonal trends through some amazing business that provide a variety of eclectic creations. Submit a black owned business that you would like to see highlighted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click today to find out who this month spotlight goes too.
Everyday around the world Black history is being made. The last spotlight of the week is dedicated to Opera singer, Leontyne Price. Black people are the roots of this country and our history has made such an impact on the American culture. This spotlight series was to showcase pacemakers and game changers of yesterday and today. As the month of February comes to a close, we want you to think, how you can do to contribute to black history today. Tomorrow is not promised so make the most of what you have today.
Ackquille J. Pollard more famously known as Bobby Shmurda was released from the Clinton Correctional Facility this morning at 8:30am.
Shmurda was charged back in 2014 for multiple crimes including: murder, attempted murder and drug dealing. During his 6 year bid, he racked up 11 violations which in the long run got his request for parole, to be denied back in 2020.
The rapper’s most recent release date announced was scheduled for December 2021. He was permitted an early release following a review by the Time Allowance Committee. Shmurda demonstrated good behavior and participated in prison programs following his streak of bad behavior.
Shmurda will be under parole supervision for another five years, ending on February 23, 2026.
Of course his first order of business was to call his mom. Family and friends including rap superstar Quavo who picked him up on a jet to come home warmly welcome the rapper home. Welcome Home Bobby! We can’t wait for that new music. But until then… Aht Aht Aht!
On the eve of the season 5 Masked Singer production kick-off, super host Nick Cannon, has tested positive for COVID-19. Cannon was ready to get to work on the hit FOX show tomorrow, February 5 but instead he will be quarantining and resting.
Cannon’s absence is clearly not ideal for the production team but the producers have decided to move forward with the schedule and have invited actress and comedian, Niecy Nash to fill-in for the popular host. Nash is no stranger to the show as she has appeared as a guest judge in the past. Fans will get to have some fun again with the Claws star for the first few episodes until Cannon is COVID free and back to 100% healthy.
Let’s keep Nick in our prayers for a speedy recovery as we know, he previously announced he suffers from lupus nephritis. Get well soon!
Okurrrrrrrr! Cardi B teased fans on her Instagram this week, stating she had an announcement to make. Well here it is ! Bardi Gang has been waiting for another single since the hit, WAP took over the airwaves. The new single, UP will drop this Friday. Will this be another banger? Only time will tell. Stay tuned
Respectfully, we are always rooting for everybody Black. Check out some of the release coming to a screen near you starring some of Hollywood’s most talented Black actors and actresses.
Coming to Netflix on February 5th, Malcolm and Marie is set to drop. The film is about a couple whose love and romance is put through the test of tribulations. The romantic couple will be played by Zendaya and John David Washington.
On February 12th, HBO MAX brings us the highly anticipated film, Judas and the Black Messiah. It’s a biographical drama, starring Daniel Kaluuya. Kaluuya will revive the life of late chairman, Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party, Illinois Chapter. Lakeith Stanfield stars as William O’Neal. O’Neal was the undercover FBI informant that infiltrated the Illinois chapter leading to Hampton’s demise.
Hulu is bringing us a new original film on February 26th, The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Andra Day, will star as the late great singer. The screenplay was written by Suzan-Lori Parks and the film was directed by Lee Daniels. The movie illustrates Billie Holiday’s career and portrays the period of time where FBI held an investigation against the star. The narcotics investigation was led by former Black federal agent, Jimmy Fletcher, who Holiday had an affair with.
Grab a blow of popcorn, grab some friends or family and spend some quality time this Black History Month.