Naomi Osaka Defends Calling Serena Williams Her 'Mom' After Backlash

The 22-year-old tennis star denies age-shaming the former world No. 1 tennis player after using the word 'mom' to describer her relationship with Serena.

AceShowbiz - Naomi Osaka has spoken up after she's accused of age shaming Serena Williams. The 22-year-old tennis player recently posted on her Instagram page a photo of the two of them sitting side-by-side on the courtside.

"me and my mom lol," so the Japanese athlete captioned the snap. While she meant the Wednesday, January 15 post as a tribute to the tennis ace, she quickly faced backlash as many think that she shouldn't call the 38-year-old American her "mom" despite their age gap.

"More like big sister," responded one not so happy fan. Another schooled Naomi, "it was a bit improper to call her mom." Someone else insinuated, "This seems a little bit like age shaming. Not a fan." Another user suggested, "You and your big sister sounds a bit more nicer and respectable...greats."

Agreeing with the other critics, someone else elaborated, " 'big sis'would've been more understandable... i get where both of them are coming from....but i damn sure don't want no one i didn't birth calling me 'mom' in that way...i ain't THAT old lol."

After she earned criticism for her post and its caption, the reigning champion in women's singles at the Australian Open defended herself for calling Serena her "mom." Clarifying her earlier statement, she explained, "I literally would not be here without her. It that's not some definition of mom idk what is. But sure, get offended by my internet slang I guess."

Serena, meanwhile, doesn't seem to be the least offended by Naomi's caption as she commented on the post with two double-heart emojis.

Many have also come to Naomi's defense, with one saying, "Y'all thinking it's about age when it's about who BIRTHED the opportunities for young black tennis players." Another added, "She said wtf she said." Someone else commented, "That's her mom and Serene probably love it."

The criticism aside, Naomi's picture with Serena was taken at a charity tennis match in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on Tuesday, January 15. The event was to raise money for the relief efforts surrounding Australia's bushfire.

Other tennis pros such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas joined the event which was held at Rod Laver Arena. The event raised $4.8 mil to help victims of the raging wildfires.

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