Naomi Osaka Was Asked About Her Black Lives Matter Masks After Winning The US Open


On Saturday, tennis player Naomi Osaka won the US Open over Victoria Azarenka, and took home her third Grand Slam title.


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After her win, Naomi was asked about her decision to wear the masks, and her response was so powerful.

“What was the message that you got was more the question. I feel like the point is to make people start talking.”

Naomi Osaka explained why she wore seven facemasks to honor Black victims of racial injustice.

“You said from the beginning you had seven matches, seven masks, [and] seven names. What was the message you wanted to send?” ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi asked.

“Well, what was the message you got? [That] was more the question,” Naomi responded.

“I feel like the point is to make people start talking,” she continued.

When asked what made her “most gratified” for the awareness that she raised, Naomi said she had been inside of “the bubble” during the games, so she “wasn’t really sure what’s really going on in the outside world.”

“All I can tell is what’s going on on social media, and for me I feel like the more retweets it gets…that’s so lame, but you know, the more people talk about it,” she added.

People on social media were quick to applaud the 22-year-old champion for her poignant response, including The Black List founder Franklin Leonard, writing, “I couldn’t be a bigger fan.”

Others thanked her for “turning the question back”:

When asked about her masks, @naomiosaka she replied, “Well, what was the message you got?”

This. This. This.

Thank you for turning the question back Naomi. Thank you for everything.

Some wished the reporter had taken the opportunity to share what he took away from the masks instead:

“What was the message you got?” — 2-time #USOpen champ Naomi Osaka to Tom Rinaldi on his question asking what message was she sending with masks with the names of Black victims of police shootings. (wish Rinaldi had answered her)

This person said what was “so good” about her response is, “it immediately makes you reflect and ask yourself that question”:

Also, What was so good about Naomi’s “well, what was the message you got?” response is, it immediately makes you reflect and ask yourself that question. The fact that it was so spontaneous!! She’s so smart! Love her!

“Instant queen status,” another user wrote.

Tom Rinaldi: “You said from the beginning you had 7 matches, 7 masks, 7 names. What was the message you wanted to send, Naomi?”

Naomi Osaka: “Well, what was the message you got?”

Instant queen status #USOpen

Congrats for being a champion on and off the court, Naomi.

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