Three-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka used her run to the in the competition to draw attention to police brutality and racism by wearing face masks with the names of Black people who were killed as a result of police brutality.
Osaka beat Victoria Azarenka on Saturday, September 12, 2020, to win her second US Open title.
Her face masks had on it the names of 7 victims of police brutality.
Here are the police brutality victims that Naomi Osaka honoured:
Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician. She was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13, 2020. Taylor was reportedly shot eight times.
Elijah McClain was a 23-year-old African-American massage therapist from Aurora, Colorado who died after being placed in a chokehold by police and being sedated by paramedics.
Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old African-American man, died on February 23, 2020, after he was pursued and fatally shot by while jogging near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia. He was shot by one of three white residents who pursued him. Arbery’s killing and the delayed investigation and arrests of suspects sparked debates about the lack of racial equality in the United States.
Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old African-American from Miami Gardens, Florida, who was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman on the evening of February 26, 2012. Zimmerman saw Martin and reported him to the Sanford Police as suspicious. Several minutes later, there was an altercation and Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest.
George Floyd, 46, was an African-American man killed during an arrest after a store clerk alleged he had passed a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis. A white police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for a period initially reported to be 8 minutes and 46 seconds. After his death, protests against police brutality towards black people quickly spread across the United States and internationally.
Philando Castile, a 32-year-old African American man was fatally shot, on July 6, 2016, during a traffic stop by Jeronimo Yanez, a police officer with the St. Anthony, Minnesota police department.
Tamir Rice, a 12-year old African-American boy, was killed in Cleveland, Ohio, on November 22, 2014, by Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old white police officer. Rice was carrying a replica toy gun and Loehmann shot him almost immediately after arriving on the scene, following reports that a male was pointing “a pistol” at random people at the Cudell Recreation Center, a park in the City of Cleveland’s Public Works Department.
When asked the message she wanted to get across with her masks, Osaka said: “Well, what was the message that you got was more the question.”
“I feel like the point is to make people start talking,” she added after her victory.
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