- Tory Barron is a Bristol-based writer and editor for ESPN.com. After retiring from playing lacrosse at UConn, the DC native decided to try her hand at writing about people playing sports.
Naomi Osaka is tired of the negative self-talk and so is Ted Lasso.
On Sunday, the tennis star took to social media to reflect on the past year and make a commitment to herself moving forward. Which prompted a swift response from the famed fictional American football coach turned English football manager.
In a lengthy note shared to Instagram and Twitter, the 23-year-old reigning US Open champion expressed gratitude for her “completely unparalleled” support system before addressing a misconception surrounding how “humble” she is. The four-time Grand Slam winner clarified that her perceived modesty is actually a result of being “extremely self-deprecating.”
After acknowledging how she has maligned and questioned herself, Osaka vowed to turn over a new page saying, “I’m gonna try to celebrate myself and my accomplishments more, I think we all should. … Your life is your own and you shouldn’t value yourself on other people’s standards.”
Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete of 2021 — Osaka earned $60 million from May 1, 2020 to May 1, 2021, demolishing the record she had set the year prior — continued, “I know I give my heart to everything I can and if that’s not good enough for some then my apologies but I can’t burden myself with those expectations anymore.”
Her poignant message resonated with one notoriously optimistic fan in particular: Ted Lasso.
The highly contested face of AFC Richmond (sorry Jamie Tartt, no disrespect Roy Kent) was quick to tweet an enthusiastic approval while doubling-down on Osaka’s sentiment as only he could:
Seeing as “Ted Lasso” has been a reliable supplier of joy over the past year, this is a collaboration we can get behind.
On a slightly unrelated note, Osaka should definitely leverage this newfound friendship for some free biscuits.
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