Tennis star Naomi Osaka has been making a powerful statement for Black Lives Matter, at the U.S. Open. Although the young tennis star is not actually kneeling on the court she is wearing black masks with the names of black victims of police shootings and vigilantism run amuck. Osaka even dropped out of the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open tournament on Aug. 27 to protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake and other victims of police brutality.
So far the 22-year-old has worn masks for Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and George Floyd.
Osaka expressed that she was also moved by the responses from the parents of several of the victims for using this international platform to keep the spotlight on racial tension in the states.
“I just want to say thank you to Naomi Osaka for representing Trayvon Martin on your customized mask and also for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mom said. “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Continue to do well. Continue to kick butt at the U.S. Open. Thank you.”
Marcus Arbery Sr., Ahmaud’s father, echoed Fulton’s words, adding “Naomi, I just want to tell you thank you for the support of my family.”
“God bless you for what you’re doing and you’re supporting our family with my son. My family really, really appreciates that,” he said.