Posts tagged with "Naomi Osaka"

Mina Tocalini illustration for mental health article inside 360 magazine

Athletes for CARE Supports Mental Health in Professional Sport

Olympians and Professional Athletes are setting new standards for personal care and well-being to protect their mental health, disrupting intense pressure and expectation

Athletes for CARE (“A4C” or the “Organization”) is a nonprofit organization working since 2017 with current and former athletes to address the long term impact of the mental and physical toll a career in sport takes on athletes. A4C advocates for the removal of stigmas surrounding mental health and personal well-being in sport, as well as for treatment options. A4C applauds and supports the challenging decisions made by Olympic athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka in the past weeks to protect their mental health and well-being. Their outspoken bravery sets a precedent encouraging others to reinforce that no athlete must suffer alone in silence on, or after leaving, the world stage.

A4C is committed to fostering resilience and support for mental health challenges faced by current and former professional athletes. To further this mission, the organization is proud to announce a collaboration with the Post-Game Players’ Lounge (“PPL” or the “Partner”), a program devoted to supporting retired athletes who are finding themselves, for the first time, in a world that isn’t solely dominated by participation in professional and team sport.

“PPL is excited to collaborate with A4C to help bring the mental health aspect of athletics to the forefront! While traditional sports psychology focuses on athletes’ success on the field, PPL is shifting their focus to helping athletes succeed off the field,” says Dr. Shannon McHugh, PsyD., co-founder of PPL.

“Athletes for CARE is committed to helping athletes find success in life after a career in sport,” said Anna Valent, Executive Director A4C. “We have worked for years on a one-on-one basis to address barriers to success and help athletes find support, opportunity and purpose in life after a career in sport. We are excited to work with the Post-Game Players’ Lounge to bring this program that focuses on mental health at no charge to any athlete from any sport.”

“A4C was there to support me through some dark times after my football career ended.” said Jamie Brown, A4C Athlete Ambassador and NFL Superbowl Champion. “I am excited that A4C and PPL are partnering to create a safe space where you can share anything in a group of people who understand how you are feeling. It helps connect the dots whether you are struggling with finances, or purpose or anything.”

The program, led by former athletes who are now mental health professionals, includes a 16-week program for athletes and will grow to include programs for spouses, partners and families of athletes. Athletes who complete the program will also be invited to participate in a leadership development program to continue their mental health journey. In addition to the weekly program, athletes needing additional support will receive individual care plans that will also be supported through A4C. Many athletes struggle with mental, physical, and financial health during and after a career in sport. It is difficult to navigate how and where to get help, especially when coming from a unique industry and usually without a transition plan or health insurance.

About Athletes for CARE

Athletes for CARE (A4C) is a nonprofit organization launched in 2017 by passionate retired professional athletes who recognized the need to advocate for the health, safety and wellness of more than 2 billion people of all ages who compete annually in sanctioned sports globally. Through that advocacy, we are improving health and wellness options for the billions of people around the world living with mental and physical illnesses including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, CTE, TBI, substance abuse and opioid dependency.

About Post-Game Players Lounge

The Players’ Lounge was created with a collaboration between psychologists Dr. Shannon McHugh and Dr. Jesi Sasaki, B.J. Williams, the founder of Can I Be Vulnerable (an organization aimed toward reducing the stigma of mental health for black men and boys), and occupational therapist Dr. Madison Harris, who specializes in helping athletes with their retirement transition. Started as a safe space for former NFL players to come together and talk about their mental health and post-career journey, now turned into a program that all former athletes can access and benefit from as they transition out of their athletic career. PPL provides mental wellness tips and techniques to group members and collaborate with partnering neuropsychologists and occupational therapists to provide relatable information to help athletes develop a playbook for retirement that prioritizes their mental and physical wellness post-sport.

Tennis illustration by Hannah Beck

Naomi Osaka × Mental Health Advocacy

Naomi Osaka, the highest paid female athlete to date, recently withdrew from the French Open and announced on Monday that she will also withdraw from the Berlin WTA 500 tournament. Osaka is 23 and is currently ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association in singles and number two in doubles, and is the first Asian player to hold the top rank in singles. Osaka has defeated long time tennis star Serena Williams and made over 37 million in endorsement deals last year.

Making enormous strides as a young, non-white female athlete and especially so in an underappreciated women’s sport, it was very shocking to hear of her depart from the French Open and subsequently from the Berlin 500 tournament. Doing what was best for her mental health, most were understanding and many of her competitors gave their praise and support for her decision. Osaka tweeted announcing her initial decision to not speak to the press on Twitter stating, “I’ve often felt that people have no regard for an athlete’s mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.” After her announcement began to garner a lot of attention, she released another tweet explaining her leave from current play, “I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players, and my well-being is I withdraw from the tournament so everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.

Serena Williams responded to Osaka’s decision by saying “I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like… You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to, in the best way she thinks she can.” While many agreed with Williams and shared similar sentiments, Osaka did receive a fair amount of backlash from her decision. Many criticized her for not being mentally tough and encouraged her to just talk to the press. Borris Becker, another tennis star, had a slightly different opinion, stating he was scared how Osaka’s career would fare after this decision and if she could not learn to handle the stress of a professional sports career.

Osaka told the press that she had too much anxiety over post-game press conferences; having dealt with anxiety and depression for a while and feels that interacting with the press increases her anxiety. When Osaka refused to speak to the press after her first French Open match, she was fined $15,000 and could have faced more severe punishment if she continued to ignore the press. Osaka later withdrew from the tournament after and announced her mental health was more important than her playing at this moment.

Many of you may remember a similar situation with the Seattle Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch, who would refuse to speak at press conferences. While it was included in his contract that he attends press conferences he told the press in a 2015 press conference that he did not appreciate the media constantly in his face hounding him, and that he felt the media was mad at him whether he spoke or not so he would prefer to say nothing at all. Called to be in compliance with his contract he would show up at every press conference and sit there not speaking or saying no comment. It came to be a joke to everyone and later clips of him at press conferences were turned into viral memes. We can see the comparison here and I wonder if the difference in reaction is because of the difference in sport or the difference in gender of the player. Both players are highly praised in their respective sports, they are top performing athletes and are both old and mature enough to make their own decisions as for what is best for them and their mental health.

Mental health struggles, although not new, have become newly accepted in society and it is a relatively new idea that celebrities, professionals and professional athletes can openly talk about their mental health struggles and hope to not to be put down for them. Although many still are, it is a sad thing to witness someone receive negative comments after claiming they are doing what they believe is in their best interests. We all struggle with mental health in one way or another and if Osaka believes it is best for her to not talk to the press, that should be a respected opinion by the community.

There will always be players, whether that is newbies who want to get their name out there and enjoy the spotlight, captains such as Megan Rapinoe and LeBron James who enjoy speaking on behalf of their team and feel it is in their duties as captains and team members to speak, or just someone who enjoys talking and doesn’t mind speaking to the press, there will never be a shortage of players, coaches, and staff members who are willing to give their opinion and comment at press conferences. All players should not be mandated to speak to the press if it is something they are not comfortable with.

With the negative reaction Osaka received, the fine and the additional media coverage she received after announcing she wanted very little, Osaka was forced to drop out from two major tournaments. Osaka discussed how she feels the tennis community, and higher ups could do a better job of supporting players and ensuring that they have good mental health. She and many others hope this starts the process of bettering all athletes’ mental health and changing outdated rules; hopefully this change does not come at the cost of a young star’s tennis career.

Hockey NHL illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

NHL All-Star Dylan Larkin Joins BODYARMOUR

BODYARMOR Sports Drink, the fastest-growing sports drink in the category, today announced a new partnership with Detroit Red Wings Centerman and NHL All-Star Dylan Larkin as the brand’s newest athlete partner.

Larkin’s partnership with BODYARMOR makes him the latest addition to BODYARMOR’s impressive athlete roster, including Kyler Murray, Mookie Betts, Christian McCaffrey, James Harden, Naomi Osaka, Mike Trout, Ja Morant, and Megan Rapinoe. In addition to its robust athlete partner roster, BODYARMOR is the Official Sports Drink of the UFC, Major League Soccer, and the US Open.

Larkin joins the BODYARMOR team at a pivotal time for the brand as its growth continues to accelerate and challenge competitors in the category. Now the No. 2 sports drink sold in convenience stores nationwide, BODYARMOR has incredible momentum and is on track for nearly $1 billion in retail sales by the end of 2020.

Donovan Mitchell, BODYARMOR x adidas

Donovan Mitchell is fresh off a five-year, $195 million extension with the Utah Jazz, and now he’s dropping some fresh, new kicks.

The star guard teamed up with BODYARMOR for a collaboration with adidas to create a limited edition version of his D.O.N. Issue #2 sneaker called the adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR.

The shoe features a brand new colorway inspired by Mitchell’s favorite BODYARMOR flavor, Tropical Punch.

D.O.N., which stands for “Determination Over Negativity,” is representative of Mitchell’s mindset both on and off the court.

The new shoe features the BOUNCE midsole, which enhances comfort and stability. It is also a higher heel counter, which provides even more containment and support. A webbed lacing system and the soft, breathable mesh upper provide even more lateral support.

The D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR will not be available for purchase. Rather, it is available to fans and consumers nationwide through giveaways on BODYARMOR social platforms beginning Tuesday.

There will be just 100 pairs, so those who can get their hands on the shoes will be the envy of sneaker collectors everywhere.

Mitchell was first announced a partner and investor with BODYARMOR Sports Drink in Jan. 2018. He was another premier name added to a list of athlete partners that includes James Harden, Trae Young, Megan Rapinoe, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Kemba Walker, Dustin Johnson, Naomi Osaka, Mike Trout and more.

Mitchell took the league by storm in the 2017-2018 season. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft and was traded to the Utah Jazz the same night.

He won the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest and was named an All-Star during the 2019-2020 season. Through the first three seasons of his career, he is averaging 22.7 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 4 assists per game.

BODYARMOR is now the No. 2 sports drink sold nationwide.

For more information about BODYARMOR, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

You can also follow Donovan Mitchell on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Donovan Mitchel

Donovan Mitchell × BODYARMOR × adidas

Coming off of his 5-year contract extension with the Jazz, NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell and BODYARMOR Sports Drink have teamed up for a new, exclusive collaboration with adidas, creating a limited-edition version of Donovan’s D.O.N. Issue # 2 sneaker: the adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR.

The adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR features a colorway inspired by Donovan’s favorite BODYARMOR Sports Drink flavor, Tropical Punch. The silhouette represents Donovan Mitchell’s ‘Determination Over Negativity’ mindset as he continues to aim to be a vehicle for positive disruption on the court and in communities across the country. 

As part of the second version of Donovan’s signature footwear line with adidas, the D.O.N. Issue #2 features a returned technology of a BOUNCE midsole, which arms Donovan and users with enhanced comfort and stability. New to the model is a higher heel counter, while the higher height gives the shoe even more containment and support. The upper features a soft and breathable mesh that provides improved lateral support through a webbed lacing system.

The adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR shoes will not be available for sale. Rather, only 100 pairs of shoes have been created that fans and consumers nationwide will be available to win via giveaways on BODYARMOR social platforms and more, starting today.

Donovan Mitchell has been with BODYARMOR Sports Drink since January 2018, when he was first announced as an athlete partner and investor in the brand. In addition to Donovan Mitchell, BODYARMOR’s impressive athlete roster includes James Harden, Trae Young, Megan Rapinoe, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Kemba Walker, Dustin Johnson, Naomi Osaka, Mike Trout, and more. 

BODYARMOR is now the #2 sports drink sold nationwide, and is on track for nearly $1 billion in retail sales by the end of 2020.

Pharrell Williams illustrated by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE

Pharrell Williams – Entrepreneur

Today, Pharrell Williams shares a new single and music video entitled “Entrepreneur” [feat. JAY-Z].

Watch the video HERE.

Get it HERE via Columbia Records.

He makes a powerful statement with the song and the accompanying visual. The video proudly features and spotlights the achievements of over a dozen black entrepreneurs. It includes Issa RaeNipsey HussleTyler, The CreatorRobert HartwellSix SevTyAnthony Davis [Founder of Vox Collegiate Junior High], Vincent Williams [Founder of Honey’s Kettle], Iddris SanduBeatrice Dixon [Founder of Honey’s Pot], Arthell Darnell Isom[Founders of D’ART Shtajio], Neighbors SkateShopAlrick AugustineDenise Woodard [Founder of Partake Cookies],Chace Infinite [Founder of Harun Coffee Shop], Chef Alisa[Founder of My Two Cents], Debbie Allen [Founder of Tribe Midwifery], Angela Richardson [Founder of PUR Home], Miss Bennett FitnessBlack and MobileTrill Paws Dog AccessoriesThird Vault Yarns, and “The First Black Valedictorian of Princeton” Nicholas Johnson. They all make cameos as title cards introduce their accomplishments. Over a slick and soulful bounce, Pharrell carries an uplifting and undeniable affirmation punctuated by his instantly recognizable high register. This anthem arrives at just the right time.

Pharrell also joined forces with TIME for a very special cover project entitled The New American Revolution. He personally curated a series of essays and conversations between Black leaders that explore America’s oppressive past and visions for a more equitable future, with perspectives from Kenya Barris, Imara Jones, Naomi Osaka, Tyler, the Creator, and more. To bring this dialogue to the forefront, he unites the likes of Yara Shahidi and Angela Davis in once-in-a-lifetime interviews. Hank Willis Thomas contributed the cover art.

About the issue, Pharrell wrote, “In assembling this project, I asked some of the most qualified people I know in every field—from Angela Davis to Tyler, the Creator, to Representative ­Barbara Lee—to talk with us, and with one another, about the way forward. I wanted to convey a vision of a future filled with the artists, creators and entrepreneurs who can fulfill the promise of this country’s principles.” 

The issue is on newsstands now.

BODYARMOR × MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Award-winning actor Michael B. Jordan is lending his voice to premium sports drink and water brand, BODYARMOR’s newest campaign: “Only You Can Make You Better”.
 
The largest advertising campaign to-date for the brand, voiced-over by Jordan, stars seven of BODYARMOR’s athlete partners: NBA MVP and All-Star James Harden, MLB MVP and All-Star Mike Trout, USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, women’s tennis sensation Naomi Osaka, WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith, PGA Tour standout Dustin Johnson, and MLS MVP and All-Star Carlos Vela.
 
The campaign is rooted in the belief that no matter who you are, only you can make you better – and that includes the work you put in, your mental toughness, and what you put in your body.Athletes today are more health-conscious than ever and won’t settle for inferior products, which is why so many are choosing BODYARMOR for their hydration needs. BODYARMOR is made with potassium packed electrolytes, antioxidants, coconut water, and no artificial flavors or sweeteners, providing athletes with better hydration options.
 
The campaign will make its national TV debut during The Match this Sunday, May 24 and will continue to air throughout the summer. Furthermore, BODYARMOR will be surprising some young fans throughout June who post on social media how they are committed to making themselves better with #OnlyYouCan.