Naomi Osaka is a professional tennis player with Haitian and Japanese ancestry. The first Asian player to hold the top singles ranking is ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion is the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion.
Naomi Osama for Haiti
The biracial American is no stranger to the path of social justice. In 2020, as a form of silent protest, Naomi Osama wore the names of victims of police brutality in America. The seven masks Osaka wore included the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice. The 23-year-old decided to use her celebrity power to speak out against racial injustice.
Haiti’s Most Recent Disaster
Recently in Haiti, an earthquake of 7.2 magnitudes destroyed Haitian infrastructure. The earthquake even affected the surrounding island countries; the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Turks, and Caicos. Overwhelmed by the destruction Osaka tweeted,
“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 🇭🇹❤️🙏🏾”
Haitian National’s Respond to Osaka
The people of Haiti, fully acquainted with disaster relief and NGO funding replied in choral unison asking her to opt-out of donating her money to their government but rather build a hospital, directly. Disaster relief funds are a controversial topic. It seems the resources as regularly usurped by those employed to help. One Haitian said:
“Naomi Osaka 大坂なおみ Please build a HOSPITAL in Haiti with your name we don’t need the money souple” another Haitian national tweeted a similar thought writing, “Hello Naomi. I hope that you’re well. Please don’t give a dime to any international NGOs. We can help you to identify local organizations that are improving the lives of Haitians. Peace in the name of the ancestors.”