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Naomi Osaka praised for 'sport excellence' and support for BLM at US Open

14 September 2020 - 09:16 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Naomi Osaka won her third Grand Slam while advocating for social justice.
Naomi Osaka won her third Grand Slam while advocating for social justice.
Image: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Naomi Osaka's win at the US Open on Saturday continues to be a hot topic on social media as scores praise her stance on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement during the match.

Osaka bagged her second US Grand Slam title and a third in her career. The New York Times reports that she won 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 against Victoria Azarenka.

She went to the Flushing Meadows stadium aiming to win, and sent a strong message about racism and social justice.

Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father Haitian, wore seven different face masks during her seven matches to commemorate black lives lost to violence. Each mask had the name of black person lost to violence.

The lives lost included Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Cleveland in 2014, and Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, whose deaths, also at the hands of white police officers, sparked global protests against racism and police brutality.

According to ESPN, Osaka said her stance was intended to get people talking about the scourge of racism and “to get more people to say more names”.

Asked what message she wanted to send, she responded: “What is the message you got is the question. The point is to make people start people talking.”

She made it clear she would be a tennis player and an activist.

Proud of her win, Osaka shared a picture of herself holding her trophy.

Here's a glimpse into the messages shared on social media.