Naomi Osaka sports ‘Breonna Taylor’ mask at US Open
Fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka is making sure people are reminded of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and all the other names of the recent victims of police brutality in America. Osaka stepped onto the hard court on Monday night for her first-round matchup in this year’s US Open Grand Slam wearing a mask bearing the name of Breonna Taylor. Osaka wore the mask before and after her three-set victory against fellow Japanese player, Misaki Doi.
Osaka has brought seven different face masks with seven different names, which she hopes to showcase in all her matches in New York City. Given that she would need seven matches to claim her second US Open title, Osaka is making sure she uses her platform wisely.
“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,” said Osaka.
This isn’t the first time the young tennis star has spoken out against racial injustice. Just recently, Osaka took a brave stand and decided to boycott her semifinal match of the Western and Southern Open after the shooting of Jacob Blake — another Black man shot by police. Osaka’s decision forced tournament organizers to ultimately postpone that day’s matches.
Osaka is just one of many athletes who continue to bring awareness to the killing of Breonna Taylor. The officers responsible for the fatal shooting of Taylor haven’t been arrested to this date.
Next up for Osaka is Italian Camila Giorgi in the second round. Look for the 22-year-old to continue to use her voice on and off the court.