Twenty-three-year-old tennis phenomenon Naomi Osaka has made headlines once again this time being honored as Associated Press Female Athlete of The Year for recognizing her achievements both on and off the court.
Osaka expressing her moving sentiments via email relating to the current turmoil of our nation, “It was difficult to be isolated from my family for large parts of the year, but that’s nothing compared to others. It was sad to watch and read the news of people suffering from Covid-19, an the economic and social effect on so many-losing jobs, mental health. It was a tough year for so many people”, she wrote.
Naomi along with a great number of other athletes this year including Lebron James, Jrue Holiday, and his wife Lauren together with actors Michael B. Jordan and many other celebrities were pivotal advocates in the “Black Lives Matter” movement utilizing their fame and voices against police brutality and racial injustices.
During the US Open, she showed solidarity sporting clothing and face masks commemorating victims and vocalized her rationale after snagging the title win over Belarusian player Victoria Azarenka, ” The point is to make people start talking” she stated after her win.
Pioneer and fellow tennis icon Billie Jean King praised Osaka for her professional and social accomplishments. Ally and long-time crusader for social justice and women’s equality, the dignitary shared her point of view, “She successfully completed the difficult task of taking excellence in sports performance and using that platform to succeed outside of sports on a much bigger stage”.
The biracial Haitian-Japanese rival is the first Asian player to hold top ranking in singles and is currently ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association. 2020 was a monumental year for the tennis hopeful. Not only did she showcase her impeccable talent and fearless spirit, but she also proved there’s power in a voice.