Naomi Osaka and LeBron James’ joint project is under fire for ‘VERY sexually explicit’ name

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka and her partner basketball star LeBron James are getting hammered over their new “Hana Kuma” media platform because it means something sexually explicit in Swahili.

The Japanese tennis sensation teamed up with billionaire Lebron James to launch a storytelling medium that caters to a wide audience. Osaka was the world’s highest-paid female athlete in 2020, earning in excess of $37 million according to the Daily Mail. James is the second NBA player to amass a net worth of $1 billion.

“Hana Kuma” means “flower bear” in Japanese. In Swahili, which is spoken in 14 countries including Kenya and Tanzania, the phrase means “a woman with no vagina.”

Naturally, Africans took offense to it even though it is evident that the name is Japanese, not Swahili. Osaka’s fans from East Africa have asked that she change the name of the venture out of respect for its meaning in their language.

On June 22, Osaka tweeted, “Prayers for all my overthinkers. We be going through it.”

“If you keep the name ‘#hanakuma, the name will override the news and the stories you wish to share. The name of the brand is already news! I suggest a change and also, just being a bit respectful to global culture. It’s not overthinking here, it’s protecting a brand!” one Twitter user replied.

Another user stated, according to Yahoo! Sports, “East Africans cannot say this even in whispers.”

The backlash against the name has been intense, especially in Kenya. The subject has dominated trending topics since Wednesday, with Citizen TV, which is Kenya’s most-watched news outlet, proclaiming on Twitter that Kenyans were “losing their heads” over the phrase.

Swahili is one of the world’s ten most spoken languages. It is the language of more than 200 million people worldwide.

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

“In the streaming age, content has a more global perspective. You can see this in the popularity of television from Asia, Europe, and Latin America that the unique can also be universal,” she continued.

“My story is a testament to that as well. I’m so excited for what we are building at Hana Kuma. We will bring stories to life with this goal in mind: to make unique perspectives feel universal and inspire people along the way,” Osaka proclaimed.

The first undertaking of the platform is a leftist documentary in collaboration with The New York Times concerning the first woman of color sworn into Congress, Patsy Mink.

Osaka, 24, pulled out of Wimbledon this year because she is still recovering from an ongoing Achilles injury.

“My Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time,” she wrote on Twitter when announcing her withdrawal.

The four-time grand slam champion’s new company is another venture taken on with her agent Stuart Duguid. Previously, they launched “Evolve,” which is a management platform that helps professional athletes communicate with brand partnerships and investments.

The first to join her new company was Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios. Osaka claimed that he transcended their sport, with unique style, passion, and personality.

The SpringHill company, which was founded by LeBron James and his business associate Maverick Carter, will reportedly help fund, operate, and produce content for the “Hana Kuma” venture.

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles