Will Smith Writes Touching Note to Support Naomi Osaka After Her Withdrawal From the French Open

Naomi Osaka is putting eyes on the French Open even in her absence. After the young tennis pro dropped out of the competition in order to focus on her mental health, people have been talking about the cost of post and pre-game interviews to the athletes. Several celebrities have come out in support of Osaka and her decision. Most recently, Will Smith handwrote Osaka a sweet note to show his support.

Collage of Will Smith in a suit and Naomi Osaka in her tennis uniform
Will Smith and Naomi Osaka | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

What did Will Smith write Naomi Osaka?

Smith has become an encouraging voice in Hollywood for many people. So, after Osaka announced her decision to leave the French Open, Smith decided to direct his encouraging words her way.

“Hey Naomi, You are right,” he wrote in a small book. “They are wrong! I am with you.” Smith posted a picture of himself with the note to Instagram yesterday.

Naomi Osaka drops out of press conferences

Ahead of the tournament, Osaka told fans that she would not be participating in press conferences while there in order to protect her mental health.

“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” she wrote on Instagram. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”

Why did Naomi leave the French Open?

Osaka was then fined $15,000 for not participating in the press conferences. As a result of being fined and all of the media attention that came from her saying she did not want media attention, Osaka withdrew from the competition.

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“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” she wrote in a lengthy note on social media. “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.”

She went on to talk about her own bouts with mental health issues.

“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that. Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.

She continued, saying that she is not a “natural public speaker” and elaborating on the anxiety that she gets before speaking to the world’s media.

“I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press, and fans.

RELATED: Naomi Osaka Wore This Touching Message in Her U.S. Open Final Match

Other stars supporting Naomi

Will Smith isn’t the only one to support Osaka. Tennis pros Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King tweeted support for Osaka, as did NFL star Russell Wilson. Famous sisters Venus and Serena Williams also spoke up for Osaka.

“So proud of you,” Venus commented on Osaka’s post. “Take care of yourself and see you back winning soon!”