Meditation brand Calm has been a master in speaking out at critical culturally relevant moments to propel its brand. (Remember its CNN sponsorship on Election Night?) Now, as a number of brands such as Nike and Sweetgreen speak up in support of Naomi Osaka, Calm is taking things a step further by offering to pay all fines for players who are punished for opting out of Grand Slam tennis tourneys for mental health reasons. Calm is also donating $15,000 in honor of Osaka to Laureus, a French organization that supports mental health of young people through sport, and says it will match any fines with an additional $15,000 donation to the organization.
All the brand love comes after Osaka, the world’s highest-paid athlete, decided to withdraw from this year’s French Open after being fined $15,000 for refusing to partake in press conferences. The tennis champ has stated that she is not a “natural public speaker” and press conferences give her “huge waves of anxiety.” Her authenticity has moved her fans and brands that have worked with the star. Salad chain Sweetgreen, which just tapped Osaka as its first athletic ambassador, shared its support on Twitter.