Over the weekend, Naomi Osaka won the second U.S. Open and at the same time, protested police brutality whilst honouring black victims.
Osaka, aged 22, has won her second U.S. Open. For each of her 7 matches, the tennis player wore masks to court bearing names. And those names were of black people, victims of police brutality.
Earlier this year, Osaka took to Twitter saying:
I’m done being shy. It’s really a waste of my time. I could’ve shared so many ideas by now, I could’ve had convos with so many different people. All the things I could’ve learned 🤦🏽♀️ but no I’m over here actually putting my own limiter on myself.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 5, 2020
Furthermore, speaking to CNN Sport, Osaka stated:
“For me, I have a lot of regrets before I go to sleep, and most of the regret is that I don’t speak about what I’m thinking.”
Additionally, she told ESPNW after her quarter-final win on September 8:
“I feel like I’m a vessel at this point in order to spread awareness.”
And so, for the U.S. Open, Osaka used her platform to raise awareness for these issues. Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice were named.
An Advocate For Justice
Osaka has long been vocal about racial injustice. Last month, she boycotted the semi-finals of the tournament.
Posted to Twitter, Osaka said:
“Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman. And as a black woman I feel as though there are more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis.”
Subsequently, the Women’s Tennis Association postponed the match. On the day of the match, she wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt.
Born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, Osaka moved to the U.S. aged three and was raised there. Osaka represents Japan and is currently ranked third in the Womens Tennis Association.
Amongst many others, Osaka is effectively using her platform to raise awareness for social issues.
You can find Osaka on Twitter here.
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