Naomi Osaka wears Breonna Taylor mask to match after protest
Naomi Osaka shows support for Breonna Taylor with a protective facemask during the U.S. Open.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka continues her support of social justice movements with protective gear.
Entering the court for the U.S. Open, the athlete sported a face mask with Breonna Taylor’s name in bold, white letters. She also wore the mask during her post-game interview, after winning the match.
The 2018 U.S. Open champion says she has seven masks with different names of victims. She hopes to be able to wear every mask and represent every name.
“It’s quite sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the amount of names, so hopefully I’ll get to the finals so you can see all of them,” she said in a post-match interview uploaded to Twitter by the official U.S. Open account.
She hopes that by wearing the masks, the global tennis audience will be compelled to research and learn about the different stories behind each name.
“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,” Osaka said according to the Associated Press.
“For me, (it’s about) just spreading awareness. I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they’ll become in it.”
Last week, Osaka joined a strike that included athletes of all sports who refused to play, calling attention to the Jacob Blake case and other injustices. theGrio reports her refusal to compete in the semifinals of the Southern & Western Open caused a one-day halt in the tennis world.
“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 wrote on Twitter, announcing she would not take the court.
Her next match is against Camila Giorgi of Italy on September 2.
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