Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Speaks Out Against Asian Hate

Naomi Osaka, former US Open champion, spoke out on her Twitter against the rise of recent hate crimes against Asian people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Osaka is of Japanese and Haitian descent and has lived in the United States since she was three years old. "If people loved Asian people as much as they love bubble tea, anime, mochi, sushi, matcha, etc... Imagine profiting/enjoying things that come from a culture and then attacking/diminishing the ethnic group that created it," her statement read. 

The first case of COVID-19 rose from Wuhan, China, which spurred a radical shift in anti-Asian prejudice as the virus rapidly spread around the world. Blame was wrongly pointed at Asian people, and former President Donald Trump continuously referred to COVID-19 as "the China virus." U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that he is "profoundly concerned" about the rise in anti-Asian hate since the start of the pandemic. That statement followed the deadly shooting in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16 in which six of the eight murder victims were women of Asian descent, and the assailant was a white man.

"It's really sad that this even has to be a hashtag/slogan," Osaka wrote in an Instagram post, referring to #stopasianhate. "It should be common sense but it seems like common sense is uncommon in this world now." During each round of 2020's US Open tennis tournament, Osaka wore a face mask with the name of a different victim of police brutality to spread awareness of the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

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