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Naomi Osaka wears a mask with victim Tamir Rice’s name and wins the US Open finals on Saturday

It is not uncommon to make a statement through your clothing. Japanese Tennis star Naomi Osaka did exactly that by wearing 7 masks with names of Black victims who have been exposed to police brutality and racism.

Tamir Rice was the last mask she wore before winning the US Open finals on Saturday. Tamir was 12 year old boy who was killed in 2014 in Cleveland.

The other victims were; Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice.

ESPN's Tom Rinaldi asked her after the match about the message behind the gesture. 

"Well, what was the message that you got? (That) was more of the question,"

Osaka replied;

"I feel like the point is to make people start talking.
"I've been inside of the bubble so I'm not really sure what's really going on in the outside world. All I can tell what's going on is on social media. For me, I feel like the more retweets it gets — that's so lame — the more people talk about it." 

Osaka has in the past spoken about racial injustice including announcing she will skip the Western & Southern Open tournament semi-finals to protest the shooting of Jacob Blae.

“Before I am [an] athlete, I am a Black woman. And as a Black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis,” Osaka said in a statement.

The tournament was paused for a day allowing her to play the semifinal the following day.

Osaka was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, she was brought up in US in a Haitian household. She was a dual national of both US and Japan however gave up her citizenship to represent Japan at Tokyo Olympics 2020. She has openly fired back at people fixated on her ethnicity and has clarified that her ethnicity is “Black and Asian” and her nationality is (now) Japanese.

#TamirRice, #Osaka, #USOpen, #BlackLivesMatter, #BLM

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