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Naomi Osaka wears Breonna Taylor mask and plans to highlight more names at U.S. Open

Tennis star Naomi Osaka said Monday night after wearing a face covering bearing the name "Breonna Taylor" during her win over fellow Japanese player Misaki Doi that she plans to wear more masks with other names during the U.S. Open this tournament.

What she's saying: "I have seven," Osaka said after the match. "It's quite sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the amount of names. So hopefully I’ll get to the final and you can see all of them."

.@naomiosaka walked out in a Breonna Taylor mask for her night match at Arthur Ashe stadium.#USOpen

— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 1, 2020

The big picture: Osaka withdrew from her semi-final match at the Western & Southern Open last week following the shooting of Jacob Blake to protest racial injustice and police brutality, causing the tournament to pause all games.

  • "[B]efore I am an athlete, I am a black woman. And as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis," she said in a Twitter post explaining her decision.
  • "I don't expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction. Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach."

Of note: Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) said Sunday his office had not decided whether to charge the officers involved in the March 13 fatal shooting of Taylor in Louisville. She was shot at least eight times while sleeping after officers investigating men they believed to be selling drugs nearby entered her home. Her death sparked protests in the city and across the U.S.

Go deeper: More sports leagues join Black Lives Matter protests

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