Photo: Sports Illustrated
Naomi Osaka appears on the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, becoming the first female Black athlete to do so.
Osaka’s cover comes on the heels of her controversial withdrawal from the French Open after decision to not speak with media to protect her mental health. The four-time Grand Slam champion is poised to compete in the Tokyo Games later this month.
SI Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day said in a statement: “There’s no question that Naomi is one of the best athletes in the world, and a cover spot felt obvious. She’s spent her formative years racking up titles and is headed to the Olympics. But we celebrate Naomi for her passion, strength and power geared towards consistently breaking barriers when it comes to equality, social justice, and mental health.”
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