Naomi Osaka debuted a new kit at the Australian Open for the NWSL team she now owns
- Naomi Osaka recently became a co-owner of an American women's soccer club in the NWSL.
- At the Australian Open, the star debuted her North Carolina Courage's new kits for the 2021 season.
- The Courage's "Mountains to Sea" kits help showcase the diverse landscape of the team's home state.
Naomi Osaka has long been making waves in tennis, but now, she's expanded her reach to women's soccer as well.
The three-time Grand Slam champion is newly a co-owner of the National Women's Soccer League's North Carolina Courage, and she's already making a splash for the franchise by debuting one of the team's brand-new 2021 "Mountains to Sea" kits.
In the ramp-up to her third-round Australian Open matchup against 27th-ranked Tunisian star Ons Jabeur, Osaka casually wore the never-before-seen jersey before a training session. The blue, ocean-inspired version of the kit - which the 23-year-old rocked in Melbourne - is meant to honor North Carolina's stunning coastline and famous beaches.
The second jersey from the Courage's uniform drop on Thursday depicts the mountainous terrain in the western parts of the state. Together, the two new kits are meant to symbolize North Carolina's "beautiful diverse landscapes, from the western Appalachian Mountains to the eastern picturesque Atlantic coastline" and "create a visual connection for North Carolinians."
Both the home "sea" jersey and away "mountain" kit will boast the state flag and state motto - "Esse quam videri," or "To be rather than to seem." The official release also expressed the club's leadership hopes the new uniforms serve "as a reminder of the club's common purposes which include unifying all people together, creating positive experiences, supporting social change, improving every day, achieving in key moments, and developing players, coaches, and staff."
Thursday's nonchalant jersey drop is far from the first time Osaka has made headlines for her fashion choices. Her recent partnership with Workday resulted in a slightly-different on-court look for the star heading into 2021 competition, and the Japan-inspired Nike sneakers she wore Down Under were the envy of fans across the globe. Of course, she also brought awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement last fall by wearing the names of different high-profile victims of police brutality on her mask before matches at the US Open.
Eventually, Osaka will be sure to visit Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, to watch her newly-acquired soccer team play. But for now, 2020's highest-earning female athlete has her eyes on the prize. She's fresh off of an incredible championship run at Flushing Meadows, and she's looking to carry that momentum to victory in Australia.
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