EQUALITY AND

In May 2020, a Minneapolis police officer killed a 46-year-old Black man named George Floyd. The event moved Naomi to action. She flew to Minneapolis to participate in the peaceful protesting of police brutality against Black people. 

SOCIAL CHANGE

Naomi Osaka and Billie Jean King in Conversation, presented by Mastercard
Play Academy with Naomi + Nike
“I don't feel like I'm being brave. I just feel like I'm doing what I should be doing.”
When she returned to Los Angeles

she felt she hadn’t even scraped the surface of what needed to be said or done.

In an essay addressing racial injustice for Esquire, Naomi explained, “I signed petitions, I protested, and I donated, like many of us. But I kept asking myself, ‘What can I do to make this world a better place for my children?’”

Then, in August, days after another Black man was shot by police officers in Kenosha, Naomi backed out of the Western & Southern Open semifinals. She wrote on Twitter, “Before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman.”

The game organizers followed

her lead and paused the entire tournament

for two days.

Shortly after her boycott, the US Open kicked off in New York, and Naomi showed up with a message more powerful than her serve. Over seven matches, she sported different COVID-19 face masks, each displaying the name of someone who had suffered racial violence. Delivering her message loud and clear without ever having to raise her voice, Naomi’s awakening the tennis world.

The game organizers followed her lead and paused the entire tournament for two days.

Shortly after her boycott, the US Open kicked off in New York, and Naomi showed up with a message more powerful than her serve. Over seven matches, she sported different COVID-19 face masks, each displaying the name of someone who had suffered racial violence. Delivering her message loud and clear without ever having to raise her voice, Naomi’s awakening the tennis world.

Empowering

female athletes

With girls twice as likely as boys to drop out of sports, Naomi teamed up with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good to launch Play Academy. The program aims to get more girls involved in sports by ensuring positive play experiences. Using grants, the Academy provides gender-inclusive training to community sports organizations and coaches.

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