Naomi Osaka thanked by families of Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin

Naomi Osaka
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[Naomi Osaka]
Fulton: "I just want to say thank you to Naomi Osaka for representing Trayvon Martin on your customized mask and also for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor."
Photo: YouTube

After her win Tuesday night in the quarterfinal match of the US Open, tennis star Naomi Osaka was nearly brought to tears by video messages from the parents of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery thanking her for honoring them during the tournament.

Before each match, Osaka has donned a face mask with the name of a different Black person whose death has sparked calls for racial justice.

Osaka has said she's using her platform to spread awareness about social justice.

After her match Tuesday night, Osaka appeared on ESPN's set at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where she was surprised with video messages from Martin's mother and Arbery's father.

Arbery, 25, was chased and fatally shot while jogging in Georgia in February. Martin, 17, was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida in 2012 as he walked home from a convenience store carrying iced tea and Skittles.

"I just want to say thank you to Naomi Osaka for representing Trayvon Martin on your customized mask and also for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor," Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, said in a video message played for Osaka on ESPN. "We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Continue to do well. Continue to kick butt at the US Open."

In a separate message, Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery, Sr., said "God bless you for what you're doing and you supporting our family with my son. My family really, really appreciates that, and God bless you."

"It means a lot," Osaka said after seeing the video messages.

Read the rest of this story here: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/09/09/sport/naomi-osaka-ahmaud-arbery-trayv...

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