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.
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.”
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.