Naomi Osaka: It’s Insulting to Tell Athletes to ‘Just Stick to Sports’

The TIME100 Talks: Why Naomi Osaka Says It’s Insulting to Tell Athletes to ‘Just Stick to Sports’

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka is challenging the “weird stigma” around athletes who speak about political issues, arguing that it is not faced by other professions.

“Everyone has a vote and a say, I think it’s really weird that athletes get told to just stick to sports,” Osaka said at Wednesday’s TIME100 Talks. “You would never go up to a barber and say just stick to cutting hair. It’s a weird stigma that gets attached and I don’t even know where it comes from.”

And yet athletes, as well as entertainers, get told to shut the fuck up and stick to sports, or stick to singing, or stick to acting, etc., all the time. And it’s wrong to do so.

Disagree with an athlete or entertainer all you want — that’s freedom*. But the second you start saying that atheletes or entertainers should stick to what they do for a living is the second that you should shut the fuck up and stick to selling shoes, or fixing toilets, or repairing cars, or whatever the fuck you do for a living you fucking hypocrite.

yeah, in a minute…
* And by the way, in case you missed the day in 8th grade Civics class that they actually tought Civics, let me just fill you in on this: when someone says something you disagree with, you should feel free to disagree and voice your disagreement. Our great nation was founded upon the princliple of dissent. As I’ve said for years, dissent is not only the barometer of a democracy; it is in fact the canary in the coal mine of freedom. But, if you’re an American who actually values the ideals this great nation was founded upon, then you should be just a little bit happy, for when someone says something you disagree with, you are witnessing freedom taking place right in front of you, and that’s a pretty goddamned great thing that an awful lot of Americans have given their lives to defend.
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