naomi osaka
Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Nets star Kyrie Irving is reaching out to Naomi Osaka with words of support following her decision to withdraw from the French Open.

Kyrie Irving has had his ups and downs with the media over the years. Irving is offering his support to tennis superstar Naomi Osaka in the wake of her decision to step away from the sport to focus on her mental health.

Osaka recently withdrew from the French Open. Prior to the tournament, she decided to forego her mandatory media availability, citing mental health reasons.

This is an area of expertise for Irving. He has skipped media availability and stepped away from the Nets due to personal reasons multiple times this season. If anyone understands the backlash that Osaka is facing, it’s Irving.

Whether or not the public agrees with any pro athlete’s decision to avoid the media, it’s impossible to ignore the immense pressure and scrutiny these athletes face. Irving has spoken at length in the past about this topic.

“That’s another root of the human struggle, worrying about other people’s perceptions about who you are,” Irving explained. “Why would you ever care about that? And I think I fell victim to that in my past — worrying about things I can’t control…

“You know human beings have mood swings. You go home and you’re not happy with things or you’re mad at something or you’re happy. That’s a mood swing. It’s OK to be human. I don’t have to be perfect for anyone here. Nor do I have to be perfect for the public. I’m not here to dispel any perception, I’m just here to be myself.”