Naomi Osaka had a clear message throughout her championship U.S. Open run in New York: Black Lives Matter.
Before her first match and all the way through until her victory over Victoria Azarenka in the Final, Osaka came to the court in a customized mask that featured the name of a Black person who had died at the hands of police violence. She wore masks with the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice.
The gesture was one of protest and of solidarity, something she faced a lot of heat for on social media. On Tuesday, Osaka addressed those naysayers with her particular brand of steely verve.
“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,” she tweeted.
All the people that were telling me to “keep politics out of sports”, (which…