Naomi Osaka Makes A Statement On Social Justice With Face Masks During US Open
At the U.S Open which took place on the 31st of August, Tennis player, Naomi Osaka, wore a black face mask with the name Breonna Taylor imprinted on it. Osaka donned the mask to draw attention to the name of the Black, young woman who had been killed by police officers in Louisville before and after her win against Misaki Doi.“I’m aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and maybe there is someone that doesn’t know Breonna Taylor’s story. Maybe they’ll, like, Google it or something.”Click To Tweet
Earlier that week, Osaka had shared that she’d brought to the tournament seven face masks with seven different names on each –all to honor victims of police violence.
“For me, it’s about just spreading the awareness. I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they’ll become in it.” Osaka said.
She also told The Associated Press that she hopes that she gets to the finals so that she can wear all seven face masks and bring more attention to the movement.
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Tennis star Naomi Osaka donned a face mask with the name of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in March, at her debut match Monday night at the U.S. Open. On Day Three, she wore a mask with the name Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man officers stopped on the street and put into a chokehold. #naomiosaka #elijahmcclain #tennis #usopen #blacklivesmatter #racialjustice
The 22-year-old tennis star, last month joined in the protests, demanding justice for the death of Jacob Blake, another young Black man who was shot by the police in the presence of his kids. Osaka made certain her thoughts on the shooting were clear by refusing to compete in the Western & Southern Open semifinals on August 27.
To explain this, she tweeted, “Hello, as many of you are aware I was scheduled to play my semifinals match tomorrow. However, before I am an athlete, I am a black woman. And as a black woman, I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention rather than watching me play tennis.”
She further wrote that the reason for this was to start up a conversation concerning police brutality in the United States. “Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach,” She continued. “I am exhausted of having a new hashtag pop up every few days and I’m extremely tired of having this same conversation over and again.”
To wrap up the thought-provoking tweet, Osaka wrote, “When will it be enough?”
Fans of the tennis player also hope she makes it to the finals and displays all seven masks to forward the Black Lives Matter movement.