Naomi Osaka starts a media company, with help from LeBron James

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka is launching a new media company in partnership with four-times NBA champion LeBron James aimed at telling stories that cross cultural barriers, the former world No 1 announced.

Hana Kuma, which translates to “flower bear,” will produce stories that are “culturally specific but universal to all audiences” and already has multiple projects lined up, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“There has been an explosion of creators of colour finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform,” Osaka, who has a Haitian father and Japanese mother, said in a press release about her newest venture

Four-time Grand Slam singles champion who ranks as the world’s highest-paid female athlete has been outspoken on topics that many elite sports stars try to avoid having been early supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Last year, she started a global discussion about mental health in sports when she withdrew from the French Open, citing a need to make her own well-being a priority. She also disclosed past struggles with depression and anxiety.

Fans should expect Ms. Osaka’s advocacy to underpin at least some of Hana Kuma’s offerings, most of which are still in development.

According to Forbes, Osaka became the world’s highest-paid female athlete in history by earning about $37 million in 2020 thanks to a long list of sponsorship deals.

She will not be competing at Wimbledon this year because of an ongoing issue with her Achilles.

  

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