World number one singles player Naomi Osaka is taking on the inquisitive media in a new campaign for Nike.
The 21-year-old, who is the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament and is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles, has seen her success on the courts grew into a global obsession about her personal life off it.
The biracial player has been thrown tons of questions, especially by the Japanese media, from her love of katsudon (pork cutlet rice bowls) to how her half-Haitian, half-Japanese background, known as hafus, are not widely accepted by the Japanese public as the standard for Japanese beauty.
Being a hafu has led to brands like Japanese instant noodles giant Nissin depicting Osaka as a light-skinned cartoon character.
In the new Nike ad, Osaka is playing on the court while questions like “Who’s your biggest rival?”, “Are you a hard-court specialist?” and “Do you consider yourself Japanese or American?” are thrown at her.
There are also questions in Japanese like “What are you going to buy with your prize money?”, “Can you answer in Japanese?” and “Will you eat katsudon again today?”
The video then ends with Osaka, who is getting ready to serve for another set, turning to the camera and putting her finger to her lips and saying “Shhhh”, while the message “Don’t change yourself. Change the world” is shown on screen.
According to SoraNews24, the ad has garnered positive reactions from the Japanese public, who empathized with Osaka and called on the Japanese media to have more respect for her as an elite sportswoman.