Naomi Osaka is using her U.S. Open run to call for justice for Black lives
This is just a reminder that it has been 172 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered in her sleep by police, and still not a single arrest has been made. People all over the world continue to call for justice for Taylor, including tennis player Naomi Osaka, who is using her face masks and her run at the U.S. Open to demand justice for Black lives.
Osaka took to the court for her match on Monday night wearing a black face mask with “Breonna Taylor” written across it.
At the U.S. Open, she told reporters that she has face masks with the names of different Black Americans who deserve justice, and as she progresses in the tournament, she hopes to have the chance to silently call for that justice for all of them.
“Actually, I have seven, and it’s quite sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the amount of names,” Osaka said. “Hopefully I’ll get to the finals and get to wear all of them.”
After she took to the court in her Breonna Taylor mask, Osaka is receiving messages of support and solidarity from fans and other tennis players, from all over the world.
Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old Black EMT who lived in Louisville, Kentucky. On March 13, plainclothes officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department were executing a no-knock warrant when they entered the wrong apartment, the one shared by Taylor and her boyfriend. According to reports and evidence from the scene, the officers fired more than 20 shots into the apartment. Taylor, who was asleep in her bed, was shot eight times. The officers involved in the shooting were Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. As of the time this article was published, Hankison has been fired by the department, but no other formal action has been taken. None of the officers have been arrested or charged.
In 2020, our country is grappling harder than ever with the fact that this kind of injustice is the norm for Black lives. Police killings of Black Americans are far too common, and it’s in large part because the officers involved are so often not held accountable for their disregard for Black lives. The time for change is long overdue, and change begins with justice for Breonna Taylor and every other Black life that’s been cut short by systemic racism in America.