Naomi Osaka's U.S. Open victory has been marred by controversy surrounding her boyfriend's pose. Following her win in the final match against Victoria Azarenka on Saturday, September 12, the 22-year-old athlete took pictures with her boyfriend Cordae as well as her family and team. In both images which have circulated online, the rapper showed his middle finger to the camera.
Needless to say, people were appalled by Cordae's hand gesture, which was deemed "disgraceful." Disappointed at the tennis champion over her taste in men, one person urged her to "do better in the boyfriend department."
"Naomi Osaka wins the US Open and her boyfriend makes it all about him. Show some class," another commented. A baffled user asked, "@naomiosaka your boyfriend's hand gesture is disgraceful….why did you take a pic with him doing that? Who was he directing that to?"
A fourth one explained why such hand gesture was disrespectful at the event, "The #USOpen has always been a prestigious event and for them to endorse this behavior publicly is a shame. I'm ad advocate for freedom of speech, but flipping the bird when your girlfriend (not yourself) wins the tournament is dampening the gravity of a significant achievement."
While those critics put the blame on Cordae, some others think that Naomi should also take responsibility for her boyfriend's action. "@naomiosaka Once you could've probably said you didn't condone it. When it happens twice you're complicit," one of them claimed. "And with a Kobe Bryant jersey on no less. What an absolute disgrace! Kobe ain't proud!"
Someone else demanded an apology, writing, "So us open. What do I hvw to say about your ya open female champion posing in two different pics as her boyfriend shoots the bird? I have not seen an apology issued. Disgusting and classless."
Naomi and Cordae, who was a member of the YBN collective alongside YBN Nahmir and YBN Almighty Jay, started dating in 2019. He was seen passionately cheering on his girlfriend during her matches at the 2020 U.S. Open. Though fans were not allowed in attendance this year, the Grammy-nominated artist was permitted into the stands as Naomi's guest.