After facing backlash on social media for supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka doesn’t plan on backing down.
“I’m vocal because I believe in the movement and want to try to use my platform to facilitate change,” Osaka told Reuters via email.
“George Floyd’s murder and the situation generally in America has had a big impact on me.
“Being silent is never the answer. Everyone should have a voice in the matter and use it.”
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis sparked worldwide protests against racism. Osaka partook in these marches in Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
She even cited the example of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who took a knee during the national anthem before a game in 2016 which led to him being ostracised by the league.
“Colin has been putting this message out since 2016. It took a pandemic, an economic crisis and a torturous murder on camera, all at the same time, for people to really hear him,” she said.
“It shouldn’t have been that way. If the NFL wants to show that they really care the first thing they should so is take a knee together and give Colin his job back.
“That some people have said we as athletes should stick to sports is really insulting.”