Naomi Osaka gained her first 2020 US Open match (sans the group) in opposition to fellow Japanese tennis participant Misaki Doi 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 late Monday night time. Whereas getting into and exiting the court docket in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Osaka donned a face masks with Breonna Taylor’s title printed on the entrance, paying tribute to the 26-year-old emergency room technician who was brutally shot in her residence by police presents below a no-knock warrant.
Osaka, 22 and the 2018 US Open champion, stated in response to CNN, “I’m aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and possibly there’s somebody that does not know Breonna Taylor’s story. Perhaps they will Google it or one thing. For me, [it’s] simply spreading consciousness. I really feel just like the extra folks know the story, then the extra fascinating or they will change into in it.”
Osaka additionally famous that she has seven face masks whole, bearing the names of Black victims of police brutality. “It is fairly unhappy that seven masks is not sufficient for the quantity of names,” she stated in a post-match interview, “so hopefully I will get to the finals and you may see all of them.”
This got here after Osaka and different athletes throughout sports activities final week postponed their video games following the police taking pictures of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI (whose title we anticipate to see on considered one of Osaka’s masks). She opted out of a semifinal match within the Western & Southern Open, writing on Twitter, “Earlier than I’m a [sic] athlete, I’m a Black girl. And as a Black girl I really feel as if there are way more necessary issues at hand that want quick consideration, somewhat than watching me play tennis.” (She then withdrew before the finals due to a hamstring injury.)
Hold studying for a take a look at Osaka’s US Open masks to this point and their significance — we’ll proceed to replace this text every time she makes it to a different spherical and she or he honors a sufferer of police brutality.