In any sport a champion isn’t just about what they do on the court but what they do off it. Naomi Osaka has used her platform to raise awareness of current issues and continue much needed conversations
Naomi Osaka at the age of 22 is an incredible champion on the court but she stated her intent. She said in New York she had seven masks ready to wear at the US Open and hoped to wear all seven which she did and made a big difference in continuing these conversations and raising awareness of these tragic murders.
The seven names Naomi had on her mask were:
After wearing a mask which had the name aspiring nurse Breonna Taylor on the former world number said why she was doing this:
“I’m aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and maybe there is someone that doesn’t know Breonna Taylor’s story. Maybe they’ll like Google it or something.”
She is totally right. The stories behind these tragic deaths we may not know them all and it does prompt you to research.
After her match where she wore a mask of Trayvon Martin’s name and Ahmaud Arbery she received these lovely messages:
The death of George Floyd on the 25th of May sent shockwaves all over the world with protests taking place following his murder. What happened that day was sickening, seeing the footage was horrid but it told the world what was and is going on and what needs to change.
Through using her platform, Naomi has helped educate. I didn’t know all the names on Naomi’s masks but as I said it prompted me to research these tragic killings.
This has to stop.
I thank Naomi for what she does on the court, she is incredible to watch and is one of kindest people in tennis but also what she has done off it, raising awareness and kick starting conversations and being a voice.
At the trophy presentation she was asked about the message she hoped to raise with people:
Q – 7 matches, 7 masks, 7 names, what was the message you wanted to send Naomi?
Naomi Osaka – Well, what was the message you got was more the question. The point is to make people start talking.