Naomi Osaka continued her support of the Black Lives Matter movement at the U.S. Open on Tuesday, wearing a face mask with Breonna Taylor's name emblazoned on the fabric.
It has been more than 170 days since Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot in her home after police broke in by using a "no-knock" warrant. "I'm aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and maybe there is someone that doesn't know Breonna Taylor's story," Osaka told the press. "Maybe they'll like Google it or something. For me, just spreading awareness. I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they'll become in it."
Osaka later explained that she brought seven masks, each highlighting a Black victim of police brutality, to the Open—one for each round. "It's quite sad that seven masks isn't enough for the amount of names, so hopefully I'll get to the finals and you can see all of them," she said.
A post shared by 大坂なおみ 🇭🇹🇯🇵🇺🇸 (@naomiosaka) on Sep 1, 2020 at 12:09am PDT
This comes just a week after Osaka pulled out of her semi-final match in the Western & Southern Open, joining professional athletes from the NBA and beyond to protest the police's shooting of Jacob Blake. "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 in a statement on her social media accounts. "I don't expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction."
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Osaka published an op-ed in Esquire this summer, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and the growing call to defund the police. "I remember watching the outrage at Michael Brown’s case in 2014, and nothing has really changed since," she wrote. "Black people have been fighting this oppression alone for so many years and progress has been fleeting at best. Being 'not racist' is not enough. We have to be anti-racist."
Here are more guides for how to demand justice right now, how to support Black trans lives, how to find mental health resources if you’re a Black woman, how to talk to your relatives about Black Lives Matter, how to donate wisely, how to spot a fake protest story, and how to protest safely.
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