Naomi Osaka gets emotional after hearing messages from Martin, Arbery families
Naomi Osaka wore the names of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery on face masks
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka receives heartfelt messages from the family members of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery after honoring their loved ones.
She has made it her mission to spread awareness on social justice issues by wearing the names of victims of racial injustice on a protective face mask while playing in the 2020 US Open. Osaka is equipped with seven masks, one for each round, and thus far has worn masks in honor of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and George Floyd in addition to Arbery and Martin.
Her efforts are not unnoticed by both tennis fans and the families continuing their fights for justice. After winning her quarterfinal match, Osaka was shown a special video during an interview with ESPN on Tuesday featuring Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon, and Marcus Arbery Sr.
“I just want to say thank you to Naomi Osaka for representing Trayvon Martin on your customized mask and also for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” Fulton remarks in the video.
After wearing the Martin mask, Osaka shared how his murder opened her eyes as a child.
“I remember Trayvon’s death clearly. I remember being a kid and just feeling scared. I know his death wasn’t the first but for me, it was the one that opened my eyes to what was going on,” she shared on Twitter.
“Naomi, I just want to tell you, thank you for the support of my family and God bless you for what you’re doing and you supporting our family for my son. my family really, really appreciates that,” Arbery Sr. said.
“It means a lot. I feel like, they’re so strong. I don’t know what I would be able to do if I was in their position. I feel like I’m a vessel, at this point, in order to spread awareness. It’s not going to dull the pain, but hopefully I can help,” Osaka remarked after watching the video.
Sharing the moment on Twitter, the tennis champion confessed to crying after the interview was over.
“I often wonder if what I’m doing is resonating and reaching as many people as I hope. That being said, I tried to hold it in on set but after watching these back I cried so much,” she tweeted.
She has not revealed the last two names on her remaining, unworn masks. Osaka’s next match is the semifinals is on Thursday against American tennis player Jennifer Brady.
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