Naomi Osaka’s Face Masks Speak 1,000 Words
The tennis star honors police brutality victims at the U.S. Open
You may not hear Naomi Osaka’s speaking voice often, but she knows how to make noise when it counts.
In late August, the 22-year-old tennis star chose not to play one day at the Western & Southern Open tournament to stand in solidarity with the NBA and WNBA strikes against police brutality. But when headlines around the NBA’s historic move started to fade, Osaka’s commitment to anti-Black racism did not waver in the slightest.
Osaka has worn face masks with the names of police brutality victims throughout the U.S. Open. She explained that she’d wear masks in tribute for all seven rounds of the Open if she continues to advance.
Her masks have caught global attention, but they’ve also touched the hearts of those hurting the most — those who’ve lost their children so violently. The parents of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery have shared videos with Osaka, thanking her for her support. In a clip, Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, thanked Osaka and wished her continued success. “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Continue to do well, continue to kick butt at the U.S. Open,” she said.