Parents of Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin thanked Naomi Osaka Tuesday for representing their children on her masks during the US Open.
Following her win against Shelby Rogers, Osaka was shown video messages from Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton and Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery. Both of them thanked Osaka for wearing their children’s names on masks she used during the US Open. Osaka also represented Breonna Taylor.
“I feel like I’m a vessel at this point in order to spread awareness,” Osaka said.
Martin, 17, an unarmed Black teenager walking alone, was shot and killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a white man who was a member of a community watch group. Zimmerman, who had called the police to report Martin as suspicious, alleged he was defending himself. He was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
Arbery, 25, an unarmed Black man, was shot and killed Feb. 23 while jogging in his neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia. Three white men — Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan — were arrested and charged with malice murder and felony murder, along with other charges.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot in her own home by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove on March 13, 2020. No charges have been filed against her killers.