Naomi Osaka is raising awareness around the devastation in Haiti following a recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake.
The tennis star has pledged to donate any prize earnings from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati to support earthquake relief efforts in the Caribbean island country. Haiti declared a one-month state of emergency in response to an earthquake that struck near Haiti Saturday morning, which has left over 700 people dead and over 2,800 injured, according to CNN.
Osaka, who is Haitian on her father’s side and Japanese on her mother’s, announced her pledge on Twitter yesterday. She wrote, “Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break. I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti.”
“I know our ancestors blood is strong we’ll keep rising,” she wrote, ending the post with an emoji of the Haitian flag and a praying hands emoji.
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According to Sports Illustrated, the Western & Southern Open begins Monday and is expected to award $255,220 to the women’s singles winner, and $188,945 to the the runner-up.
The four-time Grand Slam champion has been outspoken about current events and social justice issues throughout her career. During last year’s US Open, which took place amid nationwide police brutality protests, Osaka showed her support of the Black Lives Matter movement by wearing face masks printed with the names of Black people who have been killed by police. The 23-year-old also condemned anti-Asian hate crimes and called for support toward the AAPI community earlier this year.
“#stopasianhate <- It’s really sad that this even has to be a hashtag/slogan. It should be common sense but it seems like common sense is uncommon in this world now,” Osaka wrote.
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