Naomi Osaka claimed her second US Open title and won the hearts of many people with her take on Black Lives Matter, BLM…
Osaka came from behind to beat Victoria Azarenka in the final on Saturday. Azarenka had slammed her way past Serena Williams to make it to the final match.
Throughout the tournament, 22-year old Osaka, of Japanese and Haitian descent, wore face masks with the names of people who were killed in racially charged incidents, mostly with police.
Among the people she honoured, was Breonna Taylor who was shot and killed by police in her own own home and George Floyd whose death was recorded on a cellphone video that shocked the world. While other officers held Floyd down and another stood by watching, Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“I wanted more people to say more names,” Osaka explained.
“It made me stronger because I had more desire to win, because I want to show more names and I want people to talk about it more.”
Tamir Rice was the name on the mask Osaka wore ahead of the final match. Rice was 12-years old when he was shot by police. He’d been playing with a toy gun at park when police were called. Seconds after police arrived on the scene, Rice was dead.
While some people thought her BLM memorial campaign was out of place at the competition, Osaka fans were inspired.
– Win the US Open with an incredible performance
– Spread messages of social justice and honor Black victims of systemic racism and police brutality
Naomi Osaka is a true champion both on and off the court ? pic.twitter.com/wEGEYFmkAd
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) September 12, 2020
“The point is to make people start talking.” – Naomi Osaka
And you are achieving this Naomi.
— Gustav Meyer (@gumamey) September 14, 2020
Kind of emotional about Naomi’s win. Black women are trying to heal themselves, their families, their communities, and are still expected to show up and serve as an inspiration all while fighting everyday to prove that we deserve better. We salute you @naomiosaka. #USOpen pic.twitter.com/1ZmSELmtp8
— LaChina Robinson (@LaChinaRobinson) September 12, 2020
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) September 12, 2020