How Naomi Osaka is using her masks to make a statement at the US Open

By Reuters 18h ago

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New York – Former champion Naomi Osaka is wearing a different facemask for each of her matches at the US Open this year. They each carry the name of a Black American and aim to highlight racial injustice in the United States to a wider audience:

ROUND ONE – BREONNA TAYLOR

Taylor, 26, was shot dead by police in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13.

One police officer involved was fired by the city’s police department in June. Two other officers have been placed on administrative reassignment. No criminal charges have been filed against any of the three.

Naomi Osaka wears her mask with the name of Elijah McClain following her match against Camila Giorgi on day three of the 2020 U.S. Open. Picture: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

ROUND TWO – ELIJAH MCCLAIN

McClain, 23, died after a violent encounter with police officers in Aurora, Colorado in August last year.

His family filed a lawsuit against the city and its police last month, alleging murder and routine use of excessive force against Black people.

Naomi Osaka on day five of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Picture: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

ROUND THREE – AHMAUD ARBERY

Arbery, 25, was fatally shot after being pursued by armed white men as he jogged through a suburban neighborhood in Georgia in February.

Three white men have been charged with the murder of Arbery in a case that spurred a national outcry after cellphone video of the shooting was leaked on the internet.

Naomi Osaka on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open. Picture: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

ROUND FOUR – TRAYVON MARTIN

Martin was a Black teenager whose killing by civilian George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012 helped spark the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Naomi Osaka walks onto the court with a George Floyd mask before her match against Shelby Rogers of the United States in the women’s singles quarter-finals match on day nine of the 2020 U.S. Open. Picture: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

QUARTER-FINALS – GEORGE FLOYD

Floyd died in hospital on May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the 46-year-old’s neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.

His death triggered mass protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States that have spread internationally.

Chauvin and three other Minneapolis police officers were fired a day after a video of the incident emerged. Chauvin was subsequently charged with second-degree murder and the other three officers with aiding and abetting.

Reuters

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