In Pictures: The masks of Naomi Osaka at the US Open

USA & World

In Pictures: The masks of Naomi Osaka at the US Open

In Pictures: The masks of Naomi Osaka at the US Open

US Open champion wore masks with different names for each of her seven matches to honour Black victims of violence.

    Sun Sep 13 2020 07:48:09 GMT+0000

Round one – Breonna Taylor: Taylor, 26, was shot dead by police in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13. One police officer involved was fired by the city’s police department in June. Two other officers have been placed on administrative reassignment. No criminal charges have been filed against any of the three. [Frank Franklin II/AP Photo]

Seven matches, seven names on seven masks.

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, who on Saturday defeated Victoria Azarenka to win the US Open, wore a different face mask for each of her matches in this year’s tournament.

Each carried the name of a Black American who was the victim of violence, in an attempt to highlight racial injustice in the US to a wider audience.

“The point is to make people start talking,” Osaka, 22, said at the award ceremony.

“For me, just spreading awareness,” added the champion, whose father is Haitian and mother is Japanese.

“I feel like the more people know the story, then the more interesting or interested they’ll become in it.”

Round two – Elijah McClain: McClain, 23, died after police officers in Aurora, Colorado, used a carotid hold – which restricts blood to the brain to make a person unconscious – in August last year. His family filed a lawsuit against the city and its police last month, alleging murder and routine use of excessive force against Black people. [Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP]

Round three – Ahmaud Arbery: Arbery, 25, was fatally shot after being pursued by armed white men as he jogged through a suburban neighbourhood in Georgia in February. Three white men are facing murder charges, in a case that spurred a national outcry after cellphone video of the shooting was posted online. [Danielle Parhizkaran/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters]

Round four – Trayvon Martin: The 2012 killing of 17-year-old Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement. [Frank Franklin II/AP Photo]

Quarter-finals – George Floyd: Floyd died in hospital on May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the 46-year-old’s neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. His death triggered mass protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the US that spread internationally. [Frank Franklin II/AP Photo]

Semi-finals – Philando Castile: Castile was a 32-year-old Black man shot and killed by Minnesota police during a traffic stop in a suburb of St Paul in 2016, prompting protests. His girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath of the incident on social media, garnering national attention for the case. A jury acquitted an officer on charges of felony manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm. [Seth Wenig/AP Photo]

Final – Tamir Rice: Rice was a 12-year-old Black American boy who was fatally shot by police officer Timothy Loehmann in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014 while he played in a playground with a toy gun. In April 2016, Cleveland officials agreed to pay $6m to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Rice’s family. Loehmann was fired in 2017 after an internal investigation found he provided inaccurate information on his application to join the police. [Danielle Parhizkaran/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters]

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