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Naomi Osaka wears a face mask with Breonna Taylor’s name at the U.S. Open

Naomi Osaka arrived at the U.S. Open match on Monday wearing a face mask bearing the name Breonna Taylor.

Breonna Taylor was an EMT from Louisville who was shot and killed by the police in her own home in March this year. Since she was killed, Taylor’s name has gone viral in the media. People continue to call for justice and demand the police officers, who killed Taylor, to be charged and arrested.

A few days ago, Osaka refused to play in the Western and Southern Open semifinals to protest against the shooting of Jacob Blake.

As one of the many athletes to boycott their sporting events, Osaka made sure to bring attention and awareness to racial injustice this week.

Aside from her face mask with Breonna Taylor’s name on it, she has six other masks with different names on them, according to Yahoo Sports. If she makes it to the finals, all of the masks will be worn.

Osaka, 22, and the world’s highest-earning female athlete, said, “I’m aware that tennis is watched all over the world, and maybe there is someone that doesn’t know Breonna Taylor’s story.”

“For me, [it’s about] just spreading awareness. I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they’ll become in it.”

Fans praised and criticized Osaka’s mask. Many told her to stick to sports and to support social causes in her private life. Others thanked Osaka for helping spread awareness.

“My dad loves tennis, playing and watching; when I told him you withdrew in protest from Western and Southern, he was disappointed but the next day, asked me about Jacob Blake,” Vi Nguyen a director of data science and analytics at Questbridge wrote on Twitter. “I explained, with both of my parents listening. Thank you for sparking that conversation; proud of you!”

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