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Naomi Osaka launching a sports agency

Naomi Osaka launching a sports agency
Naomi Osaka (Photo credit: / Leonard Zhukovsky

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has announced that she quit the sports agency behemoth IMG to launch her own company.

The four-time Grand Slam tennis champ is about to launch the sports agency Evolve with her longtime agent Stuart Duguid. Her contract with IMG expired at the end of 2021. 

The famously independent and strong-willed Osaka will become the first Black female athlete to found her own agency. 

“I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional,” Osaka said in regard to the move, according to The Bleacher Report, “Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman, as well as a way to continue being myself and doing things my way.”

Osaka has put a greater emphasis on operating in her best interest in light of her highly publicized struggles with anxiety and mental health in May 2021. Osaka took a lot of incoming fire from fans and pundits alike when she dropped out of the all-important French and Wimbledon tournaments, which taught her some invaluable lessons.

“Lesson one: you can never please everyone,” she penned in an op-ed piece for the New York Times back in 2021. “The world is as divided now as I can remember in my short 23 years. Issues that are so obvious to me at face value, like wearing a mask in a pandemic or kneeling to show support for anti-racism, are ferociously contested. I mean, wow. So, when I said I needed to miss French Open press conferences to take care of myself mentally, I should have been prepared for what unfolded.”

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