Naomi Osaka unfazed by US Open protest critics
US Open champion Naomi Osaka has conveyed a strong message to naysayers who told her to keep politics out of sport, saying “you better believe I'm gonna try to be on your TV for as long as possible”.
The 22-year-old made global news headlines at the weekend after she bagged her second US Open title and third Grand Slam title overall after a series of silent protests against racism and police brutality.
She wore seven masks throughout her seven matches, which bore the names of African Americans who have died at the hands of white police officers.
She denies that her stance was political and says people who opposed her speaking out motivated her to win.
All the people that were telling me to “keep politics out of sports”, (which it wasn’t political at all), really inspired me to win. You better believe I’m gonna try to be on your tv for as long as possible.— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 15, 2020
Asked on Saturday what message she wanted to send with her demonstration, she said she wanted to get more people talking about racism and to “say more names” of victims.
The responses to her statement were mostly positive, as people said her protest was not a political statement but rather a call for justice and acknowledgment of human rights.
Black lives matter isn’t a political statement it’s a human rights statement. It’s that simple.— Tessa Juliette (@tessa_juliette) September 15, 2020
I always cheer for the underdogs but not in this case. You are the best and my new favourite athlete. Your principles, talent, determination and growth, and especially your honesty all slay me. I know it's a cliche but you are a breath of fresh air. Thank you.— Peter O'Neil (@poneilinOttawa) September 15, 2020
Naomi you will inspire many! Even some of these athletes who have been around for many years will start to question themselves. They will wonder if they did enough with the platform they had.— Leon Whitener III (@LeonWhitener3) September 15, 2020
The day when people realize that Black Lives Matter is not a political movement but a humans right movement, that's the day when we achieve peace. Other than that, people are just exposing their racism.— Mucc (@TheLonelyMucc) September 15, 2020
It is not politics, it is human rights. We all deserve to be treated equally as human biengs regardless of the colour of our skin. Equal rights and justice is what you are fighting for. Keep up the good work my sister.— Selby Mtshali (@selbymtshali01) September 15, 2020
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