Naomi Osaka who has three Grand Slam titles to her credit wore seven different face masks with names of Black Americans on it during the US Open. She used the platform to put the spotlight on racial injustice in the US. In the final match, she wore the one which had Tamir Rice’s name on it. Osaka won the US Open 2020 Women’s Singles title by beating Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-3 6-3 in the final.

During the trophy presentation ceremony, she was asked about the masks and she said, “Well, what was the message that you got? (That) was more the question.” Adding, “I feel like the point is to make people start talking.” 

Osaka wore seven different masks in her race to the final. Each mask bearing the name of a black person who was killed in the United States. In the final round, Osaka’s mask had the name of Tamir Rice reported India Today. He was a 12-year-old boy reportedly shot by a white police officer in Cleveland while playing with a toy gun in 2014. 

Racism is an ongoing issue in the US. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American man, was killed for using a counterfeit bill reported The Guardian.

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What You Should Know

  • Naomi Osaka puts the spotlight on racial injustice by wearing seven masks with names of Black Americans on it during the US Open.
  • She wore masks with the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Tamir Rice and Philando Castile.
  • The masks have drawn the attention of people on social media.

Naomi Osaka walked out for her first-round wearing a mask with the name of Breonna Taylor. She was a 26-year-old woman who was shot dead in her apartment by police in Louisville. Subsequently, she wore masks with the names of Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and Philando Castile and Tamir Rice reported the Hindustan Times. They were killed under similar circumstances. 

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Let’s have a look at Osaka’s mask:

These masks have drawn the attention of people on social media.

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Congrats ! 🙌🏾#naomiosaka

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Wim Fissette, Osaka’s coach was quoted by the US Open website saying “it’s definitely helping her and giving her even more energy.” Osaka said that she wanted to wear her mask even at the trophy presentation ceremony but “they said not to wear a mask”.

Naomi Osaka is the world’s highest-paid female athlete. She was born in Japan and brought up in the US.

Sagrika Giri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

 

 

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